Satellites continue to provide forecasters and scientists valuable data on the development and changes in Hurricane Matthew as it moves through the Bahamas and toward the Florida coast. NASA and NOAA satellites have provided visible, infrared and microwave data that enable forecasters to analyze the storm. The National Hurricane Center noted that Matthew is forecast to be a category 4 hurricane as it approaches the east coast of Florida.
On Oct. 5 at 2:30 p.m. EDT (1830 UTC) the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite captured a visible image of Hurricane Matthew moving through the Bahamas.
At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland the NASA/NOAA GOES Project combined infrared and visible imagery from NOAA's GOES-East satellite into an animation of Matthew. The animation of imagery from Oct. 4 to Oct. 6 shows Hurricane Matthew making landfall on Oct. 4 in western Haiti and moving through the Bahamas on Oct. 6.
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the Southeastern Bahamas including The Inaguas, Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, and Ragged Island. The warning is in effect for the Central Bahamas, Including Long Island, Exuma, Rum Cay, San Salvador, and Cat Island; the Northwestern Bahamas, including The Abacos, Andros Island, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island and New Providence. In Florida and Georgia, Hurricane Warnings are in effect north Of Golden Beach Florida to Altamaha Sound Georgia and Lake Okeechobee.
A Hurricane Watch is in effect from north of Altamaha Sound to South Santee River South Carolina. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from Chokoloskee to Golden Beach, Florida; for the Florida Keys from Seven Mile Bridge Eastward and Florida Bay. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from north Of Chokoloskee to Suwannee River.
At 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Matthew was located near 24.6 degrees north latitude and 77.5 degrees west longitude. That's about 30 miles (45 km) south-southwest of Nassau, Bahamas and 215 miles (350 km) southeast of West Palm Beach, Florida.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that Matthew is moving toward the northwest near 12 mph (19 kph), and this general motion is expected to continue today, Oct. 6. A turn toward the north-northwest is expected tonight. On the forecast track, the eye of Matthew should pass near Andros Island and New Providence in the northwestern Bahamas during the next few hours, pass near Grand Bahama Island late today, and move very close to the east coast of the Florida peninsula tonight through Friday night, Oct. 7.
NHC said that reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that the maximum sustained winds remain near 125 mph (205 kph) with higher gusts. Matthew is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Additional strengthening is expected today, and Matthew is forecast to be a category 4 hurricane as it approaches the east coast of Florida.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles (65 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles (260 km). Nassau in the Bahamas recently reported sustained winds of 50 mph (80 kph) with a wind gust of 61 mph (98 km/h).
The latest minimum central pressure estimated by a reconnaissance aircraft was 940 millibars.
For updated forecasts, please visit the NHC website at : http://www.