The fifth Atlantic hurricane and the 13th named storm of the season—Matthew—is now a major Category 3 storm with 115 mph winds and forecasters predict little change in strength during the next 48 hours.
While any interaction with the U.S. coast is days away, and there is still considerable uncertainty in Hurricane Matthew’s modeled track, it’s important to be prepared for this major storm, as the National Hurricane Center (NHC) noted:
“Users are reminded that the average NHC track errors at days 4 and 5 are in the order of 175 and 230 miles, respectively. Therefore, it is too soon to rule out possible hurricane impacts from Matthew in Florida.”
Or, in the words of Wunderblog’s Dr. Jeff Masters:
“NHC has put Miami in the 5-day cone of uncertainty for Matthew, and it appears likely at this point that South Florida will experience at least the fringes of Matthew, with some heavy rains, if not a direct hit.”
For now forecasters expect Hurricane Matthew to continue heading west through the Caribbean, and then turn to the north and northwest on Saturday/Sunday, putting the islands of Jamaica, Hispaniola and Cuba in its path.
The potential impact to those islands depends a lot on that turn, as NHC forecasters earlier noted:
A hurricane watch may be required for Jamaica later today, according to the NHC.
Insurers, reinsurers and others will be monitoring Hurricane Matthew closely over the weekend and into next week.
Check out Insurance Information Institute facts and statistics on hurricanes here.