As Hurricane Matthew bears down on Florida, forecasters reveal that the situation may be more dire than originally expected. Meteorologists say that Hurricane Matthew could make an extremely rare U-turn and hit Florida twice. Forecasters fear that Hurricane Matthew will make landfall in Florida as a Category 4 hurricane before working its way up the East Coast. However, after reaching the Carolinas, the hurricane may circle back and hit Florida a second time instead of going back out into the Atlantic like a typical East Coast hurricane.
Time Magazine reports that most hurricanes that hit the East Coast come from the Caribbean, make landfall, and then continue back off into the Atlantic away from the United States. However, Hurricane Matthew may be one of the rare hurricanes that makes a “loop” after hitting the eastern edge of Florida.
“Most hurricanes that hit the East Coast barrel north from the Caribbean, make landfall, and then eventually drift out into the Atlantic Ocean. But that may not be the case with Hurricane Matthew, which could be poised to pull a rare U-turn and hit Florida twice, wreaking even more havoc as the region tries to recover.”
If the hurricane does make the unusual U-turn, Florida’s highly populated Miami could be in the direct path of Hurricane Matthew’s second round in the state. Midwest Storm Chasers and Researchers posted one of the loop models to Facebook noting that the projected model is “insane.”
As the model shows, Hurricane Matthew may skim the eastern edge of Florida before making its way up into Georgia and the Carolinas. However, instead of fully returning to the Atlantic, the model shows the hurricane looping back and hitting Florida a second time in rapid succession.
While it is unusual for a hurricane to boomerang like the projections show, forecasters note that it is possible given the high-pressure area over the Atlantic. The forecasters reveal that the high-pressure system over the Atlantic may block the massive storm from moving east across the Atlantic, aided by winds that could send the hurricane boomeranging back to Florida.
GFS Ensemble, the loop solution is becoming very popular (and perhaps even probable) pic.twitter.com/3a7hwsuD55— Marshall Shepherd (@DrShepherd2013) October 5, 2016
Whether the hurricane hits Florida once or twice, Governor Rick Scott has warned residents of Florida to “get out.” Scott notes that the storm will be “catastrophic” and that residents should heed the warnings and evacuate. The governor told Floridians that there is no reason not to leave and that going to the beach could prove deadly.
“There is no reason not to leave. Do not surf. Do not go to the beach. This storm will kill you.”
— In Homeland Security (@InHomelandBlog) October 6, 2016
NBC notes that the senior hurricane specialist for The Weather Channel, Bryan Norcross, echoed Scott’s concerns stating that Hurricane Matthew will be the strongest hurricane to hit Florida. The hurricane specialist says that meteorologists are not exaggerating and that residents need to immediately get to safety. Norcross says that unfortunately there will likely be “a heartbreaking loss of life” due to the massive storm.
“This is like no storm in the record books. This is not hype, this is not hyperbole, and I am not kidding. I cannot overstate the danger of this storm. Central and northern Florida have never been hit by a hurricane this strong.”
In addition to the immediate concerns regarding storm surge and wind damage, experts say that the aftermath could make areas of Florida “uninhabitable” for weeks or months. Residents remaining in the area were told to expect long-term power outages and service interruptions.
— The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) October 7, 2016
Meanwhile, the Hurricane Matthew death toll has already risen to 339 as cleanup efforts begin in Haiti.
What do you think about Hurricane Matthew’s potential double-whammy on the state of Florida? Should more residents be taking the evacuations seriously?
[Featured Image by David Goldman/AP Images]