Friday, September 24, 2010

New tropical storm could threaten Florida

Disaster News Network: Tropical Storm Matthew formed over the south-central Caribbean Sea on late Thursday afternoon and is expected to strengthen further, forecasters said. As of 5 p.m. EDT, Matthew was located about 700 kilometers (435 miles) east of Puerto Cabezas in Nicaragua. It was moving toward the west near 26 kilometers (16 miles) per hour. "This general motion is expected to continue for the next 48 hours," said forecaster Stacy Stewart at the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Stewart said the center of Matthew is expected to be near the Nicaragua-Honduras border by late Friday or early Saturday morning, and may strengthen into a category one hurricane around that time. On Sunday, forecasters are suggesting the hurricane may move northeast and that has some remembering Hurricane Wilma which took a similar track in October 2005, crossing into Florida near Naples and causing nearly $17 billion in damage in the southeastern part of the state.

But according to Dennis Feltgen of the NHC, it is way too early to know where or if Matthew will go. "Folks in Florida need to be paying attention to it. But there’s a lot of uncertainty in the forecast now."…

Tropical storm Matthew on September 23, 2010, from NASA

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