FLORIDA, United States, Wednesday September 28, 2016 – So now that Tropical Storm Matthew has become the 13th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, and makes its way through the Windward Islands, the next question is what residents of the region can expect next.
According to AccuWeather.com senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, short-term rain, wind and sea impacts over the Caribbean will depend on how quickly the storm strengthens.
Breezes will evolve into stiff winds, seas will turn rough and spotty showers will transition to gusty squalls and potentially into severe thunderstorms as the system moves along in the Caribbean.
The Windward and southern Leeward islands will continue to experience gusty squalls and building surf into Thursday morning, before conditions subside tomorrow around midday.
The effects of the storm have the potential to become more severe during the weekend.
— WPEC CBS12 News (@CBS12) September 28, 2016
AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said Matthew will take a westward path across the central Caribbean, where strengthening to a hurricane is possible.
As the storm moves along, strong tropical storm to hurricane conditions may affect northern Venezuela and Colombia on Friday into Saturday and perhaps areas from Jamaica and Cuba later Sunday and Monday.
Interaction with the large islands and mountains could hinder any strengthening.
— Met Office (@metoffice) September 28, 2016
Cruise, fishing and shipping interests in the Caribbean Sea may want to avoid the area until the threat passes beyond early next week.
Matthew is likely to take an abrupt northward or northwestward turn late this weekend and into early next week.
Matthew’s movement will also dictate which of the Greater Antilles would be directly affected by heavy rain, flooding, mudslides and strong winds late this weekend into early next week. People and interests as far east as Haiti and the Dominican Republic and areas as far west as Central America should remain vigilant.