The central pressure as of 20 minutes ago was 949mb with maximum winds of 140mph. As the storm moves away from Cuba and over very warm water, it will likely regain some strength.
My original area speculating where the center of the hurricane might make landfall is unchanged since this morning. That said, let's take a closer look at the possibilities.
The blue tint is the potential path of the eye of the storm. Of course, the hurricane is much more than
the eye. While hardly a sure thing, late data indicates there is a real chance of a landfall in Florida Friday. If so, there is a chance of wind gusts to 100 mph, a dangerous storm surge, and flooding rains.
Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia
The flooding are very likely with severe flooding possible in some areas. It
It is too soon to provide this level of detail farther north.
Here my suggestions for residents of eastern Florida:
- Get prescriptions refilled now, especially if your doctor must approve the refill.
- Vote. If the stronger models are correct, power could still be out in some paces on election day. Regardless, that is one less thing you will need to do. The election will not (and shouldn't be) postponed.
- If you can get an electrician to install a generator, get it done. Do not try to install a generator yourself.
- If you don't have a generator, get a power inverter or two. Radio Shack and similar stores sell them. They are a "poor man's generator" and will keep your cell phone, laptop, and similar charged.
- Keep your car's gas tank full.
- If you have a wood-burning fireplace and you know your chimney is clear, get wood. Keep some indoors to keep it dry during the storm. You may need it to heat your home.
- If you live in a 100-year flood plain (you can check at city hall or your library) or on the coast figure out your evacuation strategy now. Make your list of things you will take with you.
- Fill a few gas cans (the type you would use for your mower) to have extra in the event of power failures.
- Purchase extra staples. Without power, stores will be closed.
- Purchase booster batteries for your cell phone and other essential equipment. If you need insulin or other medicine that must be kept chilled make plans now.
- Consider what you would do if you were without electricity for a month. If you have an invalid living with you that requires electricity, there will be areas that will be without for weeks. Be proactive.
- If you live in a heavily wooded area, does someone in your vicinity have a gasoline-powered chain saw? Does it have fuel and a reasonably good chain/blade? Test it, now.
- Get to an ATM. Without power, credit card readers and ATMs will not be working. In a disaster, cash is king.
This is the latest update on Matthew for this evening.