Tropical Trouble: Matthew likely to develop soon

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A strong tropical wave will likely develop into Tropical Storm Matthew within the next day or two. This will be a system to watch closely.

A strong tropical wave will likely develop into Tropical Storm Matthew within the next day or two. This will be a system to watch closely.

Matthew on Verge of Developing

I have been watching a strong tropical wave cross the Atlantic ocean over the past few days. This system is well organized and has very favorable conditions ahead of it for development. The National Hurricane Center rates this system as having a 90% chance of development within the next 48 hours.

The National Hurricane Center rates this system as having a 90% chance of development within the next 48 hours.

Once this system becomes a tropical storm later today or Wednesday, it will be given the name Matthew as the thirteenth tropical storm to develop this season.

Matthew will likely move through the Lesser Antilles as a strong tropical storm on Wednesday before entering into the Caribbean Sea.

Matthew’s Track

Once Matthew enters the Caribbean Sea, there are a few difference scenarios that could occur.

There seems to be little doubt that Matthew will eventually develop into a hurricane. How quickly that occurs will have a factor in its track. The quicker it develops, the quicker it turns north.

A faster development would take the storm north towards Haiti or eastern Cuba. From there, Matthew could either curve out into the Atlantic or move north along the east coast.

However, its close proximity to South America could delay development. In this case, the storm could move more towards western Cuba or even the Yucatan Penninsula. From there, the Gulf of Mexico could get involved which would almost certainly mean a United States landfall.

The possibilities with this storm are many and there is next to no certainty which of these scenarios will come to be. A very complex weather pattern over the eastern United States late this week only muddles the picture more than normal.

How to React

This will certainly be a storm to watch over the next week. Everyone from Central America to coastal Canada should keep an eye on this. Cuba, Haiti, and Jamaica should be particularly concerned.

Undoubtedly, over the coming week to ten days, there will be individual runs of individual weather models that show major hurricanes making landfall in the United States. These individual computer simulations will likely get plastered all over the web and the hype machine will crank up.

It will be key to keep those in the proper perspective. Remember that tropical cyclones are very tricky to forecast, and Matthew may be especially difficult. Individual model runs are subject to all sorts of errors and chaos. One must look at the entire suite of model runs, as well as consider basic meteorology and the history of past, similar scenarios.

I will be monitoring this system closely and will keep you informed of its progress and potential threats. The United States would likely not be threatened for at least 7-10 days, so there is plenty of time to wait and watch.

Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
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Meteorologist Drew Montreuil has been forecasting the weather in the Finger Lakes region since 2006 and has degrees in meteorology from SUNY Oswego (B.S. with Honors) and Cornell (M.S.) When not forecasting, he can be found working at the local library, making soap, or playing with his two young boys.