Hurricane Matthew is about to take aim on Haiti and the eastern end of Cuba. The storm's intensity (Category 4) and slow movement will bring flooding rains and no doubt a great deal of destruction to those areas as it comes north. Florida and the east coast of the U.S. are still in play for a Matthew landfall (or even just a "brush-by") later this week, as model data continues to waver and any forecast beyond 2 days is subject to major changes in future advisories. Regular updates come out every 6 hours from the National Hurricane Center.
The storm won't have any direct effect on our own weather, but it is part of a bigger picture that's going to determine how things go for us the next week or so. The track of Matthew up the east coast will assist in keeping winds here blowing from the east or northeast for several days. That is generally a cool wind direction for us, but not in this case - the air mass in place over the eastern U.S. is actually quite warm and we'll keep highs well into the 80s and lows that probably won't make it below 60º all week. So after our little brush with fall last weekend it's going to return to summer for awhile - that's what a tropical cyclone can do, toss a wrench into the whole works just when the seasons are ready to change.
Once Matthew passes north of about 35º North latitude, an upper trough coming east will "pick up" the storm and veer it northeast, and at the surface a cooler air mass will bring our temperatures down for next weekend. But if you're looking for rain, there's really none in sight and it may be mid-month before we see our next drop. Even though October is normally quite dry, our drought situation is only going to get worse.
All of these weather goings-on are connected in some way. Matthew is effectively cutting off Gulf moisture from reaching us, keeping cool air locked up north for now and bringing it in later thanks to the upper trough which in turn is going to sweep Matthew into the Atlantic. It does seem pretty certain that the storm will remain east of Florida and not pass into the Gulf of Mexico, which would take our area out of the equation. The Georgia coast, on the other hand, will be watching very closely.
Kurt Schmitz, Senior Meteorologist