11:00pm update: Matthew, Now A Category 5 Hurricane, Headed for Jamaica
5:00 pm ET update: Matthew rapidly strengthens to a powerful Category 4 hurricane. The government of Jamaica has issued a hurricane watch for the island. Hurricane conditions are possible in Jamaica on Monday, with tropical storm conditions beginning late Sunday.
A Hurricane Hunters reconnaissance mission Friday evening measured flight-level winds a few thousand feet above the sea of nearly 140 mph in the eyewall, prompting the upgrade to Category 4 status. The central pressure continues to quickly drop as Matthew intensifies. Matthew became a Category 1 hurricane on Thursday afternoon, the lowest on a 1-5 scale, then swiftly rose to Category 4 a day later.
Hurricane Matthew’s location was recorded at 465 Miles or 750 km South East of Kingston, Jamaica with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph or 220 km/h. The hurricane currently moving at 9 mph or 15 km/h minimum with central pressure 949 MB or 28.03 inches.
8:00 pm ET update: Hurricane Matthew is now nearing Category 5 strength. Wind speed: 150 mph, up from 140mph.
How Do Hurricanes Form?
Matthew poses a danger to Jamaica, parts of Hispañola, eastern Cuba, and the Bahamas early next week. Its potential U.S. impact later next week still remains unclear.
A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.
A tropical storm watch has been issued for the southwestern coast of Haiti from the southern border with the Dominican republic to Port-Au-Prince.
A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area, in this case in the next 12 hours.