With Matthew on a rampage in the Caribbean, it's hard to take your gaze off Mother Nature's fury. Certain to be a devastating, certain to be heartbreaking, certain to remain dangerous and deadly in the coming days.
Water remains warm all throughout the hurricane's path. While it needs 80 degree water temperatures to sustain and thrive, Matthew will draw energy from water temperatures in the mid-80s throughout the Bahamas. The small island nation will have virtually no effect on weakening the storm either. As it sets is sights on the Florida coast late this week, it should still be near category 4 strength.
This afternoon, we were faced with a dilemma. Our most reliable forecast model did an about-face and did not draw Matthew up the Eastern Seaboard towards New England this weekend. While this may be a knee-jerk reaction, it may also be a trend that is evolving. It's furthered by the fact that 51 runs of the same model also kept the storm loitering off the coast of Florida into the weekend. The dilemma is that the official forecast from the Hurricane Center plots Matthew off of Long Island by Sunday morning! Is it Florida or Long Island?? Where does our allegiance lie?
In these situations, we tow the line from the Hurricane Center, but put our own personal spin on the doubt and consternation of forecasting a hurricane's path 4-5 days out. Certainly the arguments are real and credible that Matthew may never come up here: a cool front moving toward New England is the storm's only hope for hitching a ride north. If it misses this front, it won't pay us a visit. Even if it catches the front, there's a possibility of soaking rains, but still no direct hit.
This isn't The Matrix. The issue is not choice, but instead what we call phasing. A merging (or phasing) of the front and the storm will create a very scary situation in New England. This seems highly unlikely and requires a host of steps that the atmosphere is not set up for. What seems more likely if Matthew makes it this far, is that the front kicks the storm close to New England and we get doused with torrential rain and some Cape wind.
Again, this is a worst-case scenario, and one that seems highly unlikely at this point. That said, as we found today, forecasts can - and do - turn on a dime...in just a few hour's time here in New England.
We're on standby to answer questions and keep you informed. Stay in touch! And focus on the sunshine in the near term...some gorgeous days ahead.