HURRICANE MATTHEW UPDATE #6 - Hurricane Warning issued for Jamaica

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matthew-hurricane-warning.pngJamaica's National Meteorological Service has now issued a Hurricane Warning for the island, in an upgrade from the Hurricane Watch it had been maintaining during the early approach of Hurricane Matthew. The latest status was issued in Bulletin Number 10, released at 5.00 p.m on Saturday

See below:

A HURRICANE WARNING is now in effect for Jamaica as dangerous Hurricane Matthew continues to move across the central Caribbean and is projected to move towards Jamaica within the next 24-36 hours. The following dangerous effects of a hurricane are expected to affect Jamaica by Monday:

  • Dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and exceptionally high waves, even though winds expected may be less than hurricane force;
  • Average winds 118 kilometres per hour or higher;

At 4:00 p.m. the eye of Hurricane Matthew was located near Latitude 13.5 degrees North, Longitude 73.4 degrees West. This is about 620 kilometres (385 miles) southeast of Kingston, Jamaica or 580 kilometres (360 miles) south-southwest of Port au Prince, Haiti.

Matthew is currently drifting toward the northwest near 6km/h (3mph), and a slow northwestward motion is expected to continue through tonight. A turn toward the north-northwest with an increase in forward speed are expected Sunday, followed by a turn toward the north on Monday. On the forecast track, the centre of Matthew will approach Jamaica and southwestern Haiti on Monday.

Data from a Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds are near 240 km/h (150 mph) with higher gusts. Matthew is still a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are possible during the next couple of days, but Matthew is expected to remain a powerful hurricane through Monday. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 km (25 miles) from the centre and tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 335 km (205 miles).

All small craft operators including fishers from the cays and banks should by now have completed all the necessary safety precautions and are advised to remain in safe harbour until all warning messages have been lifted and wind and sea conditions have returned to normal.

The Meteorological Service continues to monitor the progress of this system and all interests are reminded to pay special attention to further Releases.

The next Bulletin on Hurricane Matthew will be issued at 8:00 p.m. today.