The 11am advisory from the National Hurricane Center forecasts a strengthening Hurricane Matthew just off the Florida east coast - around Melbourne - 48 hours from now, possibly near Cat 4 intensity.
Although the forecast track and intensity could change over the next few updates, it certainly looks as if Florida is in for a substantial blow.
It is important not to focus too closely on the exact forecast track, as that could change, and hurricane force winds, flooding, and even tornadoes can occur far from the center of the storm.
From the 11am Advisory:
The Hurricane Warning has been extended northward from Sebastian Inlet to the Flagler/Volusia county line.
The Hurricane Warning for Haiti has been changed to a Tropical Storm Warning.
The government of the Dominican Republic has discontinued the Tropical Storm Warning and Tropical Storm Watch for the Dominican Republic.
KEY MESSAGES:Residents living along the Southeastern and Central Florida's East Coast (and inland) should be making preparations for the storm's arrival - including evacuating - if ordered, or if you feel unsafe in your dwelling.
1. Matthew is likely to produce devastating impacts from storm surge, extreme winds, heavy rains, flash floods, and/or mudslides in portions of the hurricane warning areas in Cuba and the Bahamas.Please consult statements from the meteorological services and other government officials in those countries.
2. When a hurricane is forecast to take a track roughly parallel to a coastline, as Matthew is forecast to do from Florida through South Carolina, it becomes very difficult to specify impacts at any one location. For example, only a small deviation of the track to the left of the NHC forecast could bring the core of a major hurricane onshore within the hurricane warning area in Florida. However, a small deviation to the right could keep the hurricane-force winds offshore.
3. Tropical storm or hurricane conditions could affect Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina later this week or this weekend, even if the center of Matthew remains offshore. It is too soon to determine what, if any, land areas might be directly affected by Matthew next week. At a minimum, dangerous beach and boating conditions are likely along much of the U.S. east coast during the next several days.
4. The National Hurricane Center is issuing Potential Storm Surge Flooding Maps, and Prototype Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphics for Matthew. It is important to remember that the Potential Storm Surge Flooding Map does not represent a forecast of expected inundation, but rather depicts a reasonable worst-case scenario - the amount of inundation that has a 10 percent chance of being exceeded. In addition, because the Flooding Map is based on inputs that extend out only to about 72 hours, it best represents the flooding potential in those locations within the watch and warning areas.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
INIT 05/1500Z 21.8N 75.2W 105 KT 120 MPH
12H 06/0000Z 23.1N 76.0W 110 KT 125 MPH
24H 06/1200Z 24.8N 77.5W 115 KT 130 MPH
36H 07/0000Z 26.6N 79.0W 115 KT 130 MPH
48H 07/1200Z 28.2N 80.1W 115 KT 130 MPH
72H 08/1200Z 31.5N 80.0W 95 KT 110 MPH
96H 09/1200Z 32.5N 76.0W 85 KT 100 MPH
120H 10/1200Z 32.0N 74.0W 70 KT 80 MPH
If you live in Florida, you should immediately bookmark the FloridaDisaster.Org website, and find your local Office of Emergency Management - and bookmark that as well.
Your local Emergency Operations Center can provide you with flood zone maps, evacuation advice and routes, and shelter locations.
There intermediate update from the NHC at 2pm, and the next major update is due at 5pm.