After brewing over the weekend before finally making landfall Monday night in Haiti, experts fear Hurricane Matthew’s slightly altered path will nonetheless do some serious damage along the U.S. Atlantic seaboard. Especially since, after striking Cuba late Tuesday night, its current trajectory suggests the wildly powerful storm will slam the Bahamas and straddle the southern Florida coastline sometime in the early morning hours on Friday. From there, numerous weather agencies and meteorologists suspect Matthew will follow the Atlantic coastline up past Georgia and the Carolinas before heading back out to sea.
Whether or not Matthew actually makes landfall in the U.S. remains to be seen, though as CNN meteorologist Chad Myers explains, its Category 3 status (winds of 125 mph, gusts at 155 mph) status still packs quite a punch. “It lost a lot of strength when it hit Cuba,” he told New Day‘s Chris Cuomo, “but it is still going to be a very impressive storm — gaining more strength as it runs up the east coast.” Myers’ model indicated Matthew would retain its previous Category 4 ranking before attacking West Palm Beach, then dwindle down to a Category 2 in Georgia and the Carolinas.
Rick Knabb, director for the National Hurricane Center, shared similar sentiments on Good Morning America. “We don’t know for sure if Matthew’s going to come ashore in the U.S., starting with the potential for Florida, or not,” he said, adding: “Even if the center stays offshore, you could still have hurricane conditions on the coast — storm surge, heavy rainfall. You don’t have to be near the center of the storm to be at the center of action.”
WATCH: “We don’t know for sure if Matthew is going to come ashore in the U.S..” -Nat’l Hurricane Center Director https://t.co/JAQiPYl8l4
— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 5, 2016