ATLANTIC OCEAN - Matthew remains a very dangerous and already deadly hurricane and is showing signs of strengthening with the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center indicating maximum sustained winds of 140 mph which makes Matthew a category ofur hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.
The eye of the storm is passing near Freeport in the Bahamas and is moving toward the NW at around 14 mph.
A Hurricane Warning is in effect from the eastern Florida coast all the way north to the South Santee River in South Carolina.
The official forecast from the National Hurricane Center shows Matthew approaching the southeastern coast of Florida by tonight and then turning north along the coast. The greatest chance of landfall will be along the Space Coast near Cape Canaveral.
Hurricane-force-winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force-winds extend outward up to 185 miles. These winds are greatest on the eastern side and extended a shorter distance to the west of the center.
Hurricane conditions are expected to first reach the Florida coastline by tonight and will spread northward within the warning area through Friday.
If the eye does indeed make landfall, winds could cause catastrophic damage to areas along the coastline.
Storm surge as high as 7 to 11 feet will be possible along parts of the eastern Florida coastline especially at high tide.
The track carries the hurricane near the SE Georgia coastline around midnight Saturday morning and skirting coastal South Carolina on Saturday as a slightly weaker storm.
It looks more and more likely that Matthew will turn east away from the Carolinas and then slowly move south back toward the Bahamas by the middle fo next week. But it will be a much weaker storm by that time if it even survives. The official forecast calls for it to be a tropical storm with winds of 45 mph nearing the Bahamas from the northeast by next Tuesday.
Hurricane Matthew poses no threat to the Gulf of Mexico or Southwest Louisiana.