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Matthew makes landfall in Nicaragua

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 8:45 PM GMT on September 24, 2010

Satellite data shows that Tropical Storm Matthew has made landfall along the Nicaragua/Honduras coast, and is now headed inland through northern Honduras. Data from the Hurricane Hunters showed that Matthew was beginning to intensify as it made landfall, but no further intensification is likely as long as Matthew's center remains over land. We don't have many reporting stations where Matthew made landfall; Puerto Lempira, Honduras is closest, and reported sustained winds of 46 mph at 5pm CDT.

Figure 1. Forecast rain amounts for the 5-day period beginning at 8am EDT today (Friday, September 24) as predicted by this morning's 8am EDT (12Z) runs of the GFDL and HWRF models. Very heavy rains in excess of eight inches (yellow colors) are predicted by both models for portions of Central America along Matthew's track. Image credit: Morris Bender, NOAA/GFDL.

Short range forecast for Matthew
If Matthew follows the official NHC forecast and remains inland, the storm will gradually weaken and dissipate 2 - 3 days from now. If the center of Matthew emerges over water, as suggested by the HWRF model, some slight intensification could occur before Matthew makes landfall in Belize Saturday night. The SHIPS model forecasts that shear will fall to the low range, 5 - 10 knots, Saturday afternoon through Monday, so any movement of Matthew's center offshore is likely to allow intensification. The main danger for Honduras, Belize, Mexico, and northern Guatemala will be from heavy rains, not wind. The forecast rain amounts of 6 - 10 inches, with isolated amounts of 15 inches, will cause severe flooding and dangerous mudslides. Belize, northern Guatemala, northwestern Honduras, and bordering regions of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula are most at risk from Matthew's rains, since the storm is likely to slow down and linger in these regions this weekend and early next week.

Long range forecast for Matthew
Matthew is being forced just north of due west by a strong ridge of high pressure. This ridge will keep the storm moving at 15 mph through Saturday. On Sunday, a trough of low pressure diving southwards over the Eastern U.S. will weaken the steering currents over the Western Caribbean and cause Matthew to slow to just 5 mph by Sunday night. Most of the models now show Matthew lingering over Central America long enough to dissipate. However, by Wednesday of next week, most of the models indicate that remnants of Matthew, and/or a piece of a tropical disturbance over the Eastern Pacific off the coast of Guatemala, will move into the Western Caribbean and develop into a tropical depression. The trough of low pressure over the Eastern U.S. is then likely to draw this system northwards across Cuba late next week into either Florida or the Bahamas. Whether this development would be called Matthew or Nicole is uncertain, as is the potential strength of such a storm. We'll just have to wait and see what unfolds over the next few days.

Tropical Storm Lisa
Tropical Storm Lisa continues to churn the waters of the far Eastern Atlantic. By Saturday night, upper level winds out of the west are expected to increase, bringing high wind shear of 20 - 45 knots over Lisa. The high shear may be capable of destroying the storm by early next week. It appears unlikely that Lisa will affect any land areas.

I'll have an update Saturday morning.

Jeff Masters


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Don't knock living in McMansions. Can you imagine how tough it'd be to wear a bespoke wool suit in the middle of summer without air-conditioning?
TropicalStormMatthew's heading had turned northward to (5.3degrees west of) NorthWest
from its previous heading of (6degrees north of) dueWest
TS.Matthew's average speed moving between its last 2 reported positions was ~14.3mph(~23.1km/h)

24Sep 03pmGMT - - 14.4n82.2w - - 50mph - - 1001mb - - #5
24Sep 06pmGMT - - 14.6n83.0w - - 50mph - - - 998mb - - #5A
24Sep 09pmGMT - - 14.7n83.7w - - 45mph - - - 998mb - - #6
25Sep 12amGMT - - 14.9n84.4w - - 50mph - - - 998mb - - NHC.Adv.#6A
25Sep 03amGMT - - 15.2n85.0w - - 50mph - - - 998mb - - #7
25Sep 06amGMT - - 15.5n85.7w - - 50mph - - - 998mb - - #7A
25Sep 09amGMT - - 15.7n86.3w - - 50mph - - - 998mb - - #8
25Sep 12pmGMT - - 15.8n87.3w - - 45mph - - 1000mb - - #8A
25Sep 03pmGMT - - 16.2n87.8w - - 40mph - - 1000mb - - #9

Copy&paste 14.4n82.2w, 14.6n83.0w, 14.7n83.7w, 14.9n84.4w, 15.2n85.0w-15.5n85.7w, 15.5n85.7w-15.7n86.3w,15.7n86.3w-15.8n87.3w, 15.8n87.3w-16.2n87.8w, vsa, cpe, 16.2n87.8w-16.64n88.35w into the GreatCircleMapper for a look at the last 12*hours.

Using straightline projection upon the speed&heading averaged
over the 3hours spanning the last two reported positions:
~3hours from now to Riversdale,Belize

* The westernmost line-segment is the straightline projection.
Quoting sHaDySrEbElLiOn:

Miami, do you feel Nicole could be a hurricane? You mentioned Florida and the Bahamas could be affected so is it possible they could have a hurricane by next week??
The forecast steering would suggest a system developing in the western Caribbean get picked up by a trough and be turned northeastward towards the areas I mentioned earlier. The intensity of course will be unknown until we know where the system develops (if it ever does) and what environmental conditions will be like where it develops. Still a lot of 'unknowns' remain.
2004. JRRP
new blog
2007. ROBTX09
Quoting islander101010:
seeing news out of mexico sounds like veracruz got hit real bad by karl. so far he is the only name that should be retired this yr

tell that to Newfoundland
2009. 47n91w
Quoting MahFL:

So a picture of someone living in third world conditions is "beautiful".....enjoy your Big Mac's.......

What?? Good lord. I lived in a thatch-roof mud hut for several years in a developing nation (more p.c. than 'third world'). Based on my experience, this is actually a very nice hut, they can afford the time and effort to harvest grasses for their roof, and have a boat or two to fish and sell their harvest or put food on the table.

I would have to bet there are people with fewer resources who have less than what's shown in this photo. It's also possible that the home shown in the photo is a well-to-do family. It's all relative and we do not have enough information to judge poverty levels based on a photograph. Silly for us in 'civilized' nations to think that someone living like this must be living in squalor.

I miss my hut and a more simple life.
2010. WxLogic
12Z GFS is looking better now... a much more progressive pattern instead of that stubborn stalls being advertised in the past.

12Z run is much more in line with the ECMWF Ensemble.

Quoting stormwatcherCI:
What is so funny too is that in Ivan a lot of those types of homes are the ones that had the least amount of damage.. People look at how it "looks" but don't realize that the wood etc. they use to build these homes and how they anchor them is very strong.

and!! renewable, sustainable, locally derived.
if they loose the guano palm leaves on the roof, they can just go get some more
2012. IKE
12Z GFS has a system coming in south of Tallahassee,FL.
Run after run after run. All models show something big around Tampa next week. Please get ready Tampa folks
Looks to me as if matte llc is racing towards the nw over central belize,that north turn and then back west over waters going to happen over the next 24hrs.....its beginging now,gfs has not been that off imo(the runs about a week ago),imo matt w/be reborn into a monster and nicole w/follow