Matthew's 'Loop' and what it means for Florida
As Hurricane Matthew made a razor-thin trek up the southeast coastline, devastating impacts continue in South Carolina. Matthew was downgraded to a category 1 hurricane Saturday morning with top winds of 75 mph as of the 11am advisory from the National Hurricane Center. The coastal communities, including Charleston, South Carolina, lashed by the hurricane's eye wall, and historic storm surge along the way, Matthew finally made a landfall just southeast of McClellanville, SC Saturday.
As Matthew continues it's destructive course along the southeast coast, many are wondering where Matthew will go next. Earlier forecasts showed a "loop" back toward the Bahamas next week, leaving many unsettled, and concerned in south Florida. Many residents have left their hurricane shutters up, just in case Matthew comes back for a second visit.
The 11am official forecast path from the National Hurricane Center now shows Matthew weakening significantly in the coming days. Once it makes a pass by North Carolina, south of the Outer Banks, Matthew is expected to weaken greatly, falling below tropical storm strength to simply an area of Low pressure. As it does so, the wind field will decrease in size, and the power of the storm is expected to weaken considerably, with top winds expected to fall to around 40-50 mph.
South Floridians should not be concerned for Matthew to return as the hurricane it once was. The computer models are very split of Matthew's future beyond Monday, likely because it will be a very weak and unorganized system leftover. Computer models do not do a good job or forecasting weak systems. In the spaghetti plot (image above), there are some models that show a trek back toward the Bahamas with whatever is left of Matthew. If it does take that loop back southward, would only bring an increase in rain chance eventually in time late this upcoming week for south Florida--but that's about it.
As for whether you should take down your shutters. Yes, it is time to let the sunlight in and take those down whenever you would like. There are no other threats of tropical system to south Florida at this time.
Hurricane season always runs through the end of November, so it is important to continue to stay with CBS12 to monitor the tropical outlook in the weeks ahead.