UPDATE-Matthew likely to become a hurricane
As Tropical Storm Matthew moves away from Barbados, forecasters are warning that it could develop into a full-blown hurricane within the next 24 to 48 hours.
“Strengthening is expected during the next couple of days, and Matthew is forecast to become a hurricane by Thursday night or Friday,” warned officials at the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami who also reported that “tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km), primarily to the north and east of the centre of the developing system.
At 11PM, Matthew was located near 13.9 degrees north (63.1 degrees west) or about 370 miles (595 Kilometres) south-south-east of San Juan Puerto Rico.
The storm is currently packing maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour (100 kilometres per hour) and is moving west at 15 miles per hour (24 kilometres per hour).
And while Barbados has discontinued its warning, a Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect for Guadeloupe, Martinique, St Lucia, Dominica and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
A Tropical Storm Watch is also in effect Bonaire, Curacao, and Aruba, which means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, in this case within the next 36 to 48 hours. Forecasters at the NHC are also advising “interests along the coast of Venezuela and Colombia should monitor the progress of Matthew.
Following is the remainder of the latest bulletin issued by the NHC tonight:
DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
At 11 PM AST (0300 UTC), the centre of Tropical Storm Matthew was located by a reconnaissance plane near latitude 13.9 North, longitude 63.1 West. Matthew is moving toward the west near 15 mph (24 km/h), and this motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected during the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the centre of Matthew will continue to move away from the Windward Islands tonight, and be over the eastern and central Caribbean Sea through Friday. Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph (100 km/h) with higher gusts. Strengthening is expected during the next couple of days, and Matthew is forecast to become a hurricane by Thursday night or Friday. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km) primarily to the north and east of the centre. The estimated minimum central pressure measured by an Air Force reconnaissance plane was 1004 mb (29.65 inches).
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
Tropical storm conditions will continue through this evening over the southern Leeward Islands and northern Windward Islands within the warning area. These condition should begin to subside during the next several hours. Tropical storm conditions are possible in Bonaire, Curacao, and Aruba beginning late Thursday. RAINFALL: Matthew is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 4 to 8 inches across the Windward Islands and southern portions of the Leeward Islands through Thursday. These rains may produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides. Rainfall totals of 1 to 2 inches are expected farther to the north into the northern Leeward Islands, including the United States and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches are expected over Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao through Friday.”