CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Hurricane Matthew's status from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) remained largely unchanged overnight, both with initial conditions and the forecast track.
It's currently about 250 miles SE of Palm Beach, Florida. Its motion is NW at 10mph and this will put it just west of Nassau in the Bahamas Thursday morning. Overnight Thursday and Friday morning, the likely Category 4 hurricane will be pushing hurricane conditions into and along the Florida east coast with a possible landfall around Cape Canaveral.
After it brushes by this point, it will likely curve back over the Atlantic and roll northeastward just off the east coast reaching a point east of Charleston by midday Saturday.
NHC is still banking on the hurricane peeling off to the east after reaching this juncture. Should that happen, the NC coastal sections will catch a big break, especially from the threat of damaging winds. Rainfall is a different matter as it can overspread regions far ahead of hurricane storm centers. Bottom line, all coastal interests for both NC and SC need to remain attentive and vigilant until we know this storm will depart to the east.
Local effects for the WBTV viewing area may breakdown like this if Matthew proceeds as forecast Saturday:
Mountains: Expect periods of rain and some breezy conditions with a few gusts at times. Some local rain totals might exceed an inch.
Foothills: Scattered showers but significant rain not expected. Stiff breezes.
Piedmont: Showers at times west of Charlotte with some windy periods. East of Charlotte, chances of steady rain become more likely with totals of 1" – 3" a better bet. Windy conditions 20 – 30mph with gusts 35 – 45mph. Scattered power outages may occur under these conditions.
Sandhills: Heavier rain likely with totals 3" – 6" as you approach I-95. Strong winds with gusts exceeding 50mph at times toward I-95 and power outages are more likely.