Hurricane Matthew expected to weaken as it moves toward NC

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – All eyes are on Hurricane Matthew as the Category 4 storm is forecast to near the North Carolina coast as early as this weekend.

The forecast track as of 11 pm Monday. CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE
The forecast track as of 11 pm Monday. CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

A 5 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center showed Matthew’s track shifted even more west with max winds of 140 mph.

The Triangle is now in the storm’s forecast cone.

The National Weather Service said there is still too much uncertainty to determine if Matthew will directly impact Florida.

The eye of the hurricane is expected to pass to the east of Jamaica, then cross over or come very close to the southwestern tip of Haiti late Monday or early Tuesday. Forecasters say as much as 40 inches of rain could fall on some isolated areas of Haiti.

But Matthew will next move near eastern Cuba Tuesday and into the eastern Bahamas on Wednesday.

RELATED: CBS North Carolina Storm Team’s Hurricane Central

It is expected to weaken to a Category 2 storm as it moves away from the Bahamas on Thursday. On Sept. 30, Matthew surged to a Category 5 storm. That made it the strongest storm in the Atlantic since 2007.

Most long range models have Matthew staying offshore of North Carolina.

Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency Monday in 66 counties in the central and eastern sections of the state to help farmers get their harvests in ahead of a possible hit from Hurricane Matthew.

The timing has slowed with the storm passing by on Friday into Saturday.

As long as it stays offshore, the impact to central North Carolina will be minimal.

However, there is still an outside chance Matthew could move close to the North Carlina coast,. The CBS North Carolina Storm Team will continue to monitor Matthew and its projected path.

Since 1950, October hurricanes that come within 500 miles of the North Carolina coastline only make landfall in the Tar Heel state 17 percent of the time.

The last hurricane to hit our state in October was 31 years ago and that was Gloria in 1985.

Thirty five hurricanes have come within 500 miles of the North Carolina coast since 1950 and only six have made landfall.

Based on the storm moving past the state offshore, there will be a chance of a few showers with clouds and breezy conditions on Friday.

Saturday will have a slight chance of a shower, as Matthew should be moving past the state to our northeast in the Atlantic.

Post Matthew, temperatures next weekend will cool to the lower 70s on Sunday with mostly sunny skies.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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