NC remains in Hurricane Matthew’s possible path as storm slows

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The latest forecast track for Hurricane Matthew has the storm possibly brushing near the North Carolina/South Carolina border Saturday evening.

WEDNESDAY MORNING MATTHEW UPDATE: The storm is forecast to move off NC coast

RELATED STORY: Forecasters release Central NC hazard map for Hurricane Matthew

“A lot could still change over the next five days,” said CBS North Carolina meteorologist Alyssa Corfont.

Related link: Basic disaster supplies kit

The 11 p.m. Tuesday update from the National Weather Service calls for the storm to make a turn to the north-northwest Wednesday, but the storm is also slowing down and is not forecast to possibly hit N.C. until Saturday night.  Previous forecasts had Matthew possibly hitting at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Hurricane watches are now in effect for parts of Florida’s Atlantic coast.

Cape Lookout National Seashore is being evacuated as Matthew approaches the east coast. Seashore Superintendent Patrick Kenney said Tuesday that no vehicles will be allowed to enter the seashore effective immediately.

RELATED: Get the latest with an interactive hurricane tracker in Hurricane Central

Matthew made landfall near Les Anglais, Haiti at 7 a.m., the NWS said. This is the first Category 4 hurricane landfall in Haiti since Cleo in 1964.

11 p.m. Tuesday forecast track for Carolinas for Hurricane Matthew. CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE
11 p.m. Tuesday forecast track for Carolinas for Hurricane Matthew. CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says another landfall is expected in eastern Cuba. Forecasters say a tropical storm watch or hurricane watch is likely for parts of Florida later Tuesday.

Heavy rain has also fallen on Jamaica and dangerous rainfall is a threat for the Dominican Republic, which adjoins Haiti.

It is expected to weaken some as it moves away from the Bahamas on Thursday.

hurr-track“Then it is going to get dangerously close to the coast of Florida,” Corfont said. Matthew could still be a powerful Category 3 storm as it moves along Florida’s Atlantic coastline.

Senior Hurricane Specialist Richard Pasch of the National Hurricane Center says Florida residents should remain vigilant because they can’t “rule out the possibility of impacts.”

As Matthew approaches North Carolina, it should continue to weaken but good news is the hurricane is forecast to be moving faster.

That means wet and windy conditions will not last as long.

If the storm ends up staying offshore, the impact to central North Carolina will be minimal. However, the latest track has it making landfall Saturday.

“It looks like in North Carolina, it could still be a Category 2 hurricane,” said Corfont.

RELATED: State of Emergency and price gouging law in effect for NC as Matthew plows through Caribbean

History tells us that 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 6 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 late Friday night and Saturday. 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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