At 800 PM EDT (0000 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Matthew was located over the western end of Grand Bahama Island near latitude 26.6 North, longitude 78.9 West. The hurricane is moving toward the northwest near 13 mph (20 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue tonight with a turn toward the north-northwest early Friday. On the forecast track, the eye of Matthew should move away from Grand Bahama Island during the next few hours, and move close to or over the east coast of the Florida peninsula through Friday night.
Reports from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds are now near 130 mph (210 km/h) with higher gusts. Matthew is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely while the hurricane moves toward the coast of Florida. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km). Settlement Point in the Bahamas recently reported a sustained wind of 79 mph (128 km/h) with a gust of 105 mph (169 km/hr). The Lake Worth Pier near Palm Beach, Florida, recently reported a sustained wind of 46 mph (74 km/h) and a wind gust of 60 mph (96 km/h). The minimum central pressure estimated from NOAA Hurricane Hunter data is 939 mb (27.73 inches).
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND ---------------------- WIND: Hurricane conditions will continue over portions of the northwestern Bahamas this evening. Hurricane conditions are expected to first reach the hurricane warning area in Florida this evening and will spread northward within the warning area through Friday. Tropical storm conditions will continue to spread northward in the warning area along the Florida east coast tonight and Friday.
Hurricane conditions are expected to spread northward in the warning area in Georgia and South Carolina Friday night and Saturday with tropical storm conditions expected on Friday. Winds increase rapidly in elevation in a tropical cyclone. Residents in high-rise buildings should be aware that the winds at the top of a 30-story building will be, on average, about one Saffir-Simpson category higher than the winds near the surface. Tropical storm conditions are expected in the tropical storm warning area in the Carolinas on Friday night and Saturday.