(WBTV) - As of the latest update, Hurricane Matthew is just off the Florida coast. Even though it hasn't made landfall, the eyewall winds are brushing the NE Florida coast. That means some of the strongest winds are blowing over land right now. It remains a category 3 hurricane with 120 mph sustained winds.
The storm is pushing parallel to the Florida coast through the rest of today, while maintaining its category 3 status. From there it will move along the Georgia and South Carolina coast tonight.
By Saturday morning, Matthew will be close to Charleston as a borderline category 2 or 3 storm. Either way, the winds and rain will be much more than Charleston would like to encounter.
Heavy rains and gusty winds will move along the South and North Carolina beaches mainly during the night on Friday and the day on Saturday. Rain totals could mount up to 6-12" – not just at the beaches but into the midlands of SC and the sandhills of NC. By Saturday evening, the storm looks to be off the Wilmington coast, hovering between category 1 and 2 status before the storm finally packs up and moves out to sea on Saturday night.
Here's what that means for the WBTV viewing area. We should see rain off and on all afternoon and evening. It will be heavy at times but there will also be breaks.
The heaviest rain for us will be tonight and into the day on Saturday before tapering off on Saturday evening. Rain totals for the mountains and foothills will likely be around 1-2". Closer to the Charlotte area, we could see 1-3". Just east of Charlotte, including Union, Anson, Richmond County in NC and Chesterfield Co in SC – 3-6" are possible.
A Flash Flood Watch has been posted for Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Union, Anson and Richmond County in NC and Chester, York, Lancaster and Chesterfield Co in SC until 6:00am Saturday.