BLOG: Wet Saturday, Windy Sunday

Hurricane Matthew continues to hug the Florida coastline, bringing a lot of rain and wind to the Sunshine state.  Matthew has not actually made landfall in Florida, which turned out for the best – the strongest winds surround the eye of a hurricane, so with the eye staying slightly offshore, the east coast of Florida did NOT feel the full brunt of the storm.  They experienced sustained tropical storm-force winds with hurricane-force wind gusts.

Matthew will continue along the northern Florida coast and across southern Georgia overnight.  By tomorrow morning, Matthew will likely remain a Category 2 hurricane as it brushes along South Carolina’s coast.
The interaction with the land will cause Matthew to weaken to a Category 1 hurricane by Saturday night as it starts to turn off the coast of Wilmington, NC.
Matthew will likely downgrade to a tropical storm Sunday afternoon.
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING is in effect for Dare Co.
Here’s a timeline of what we can expect this weekend:
TONIGHT – Light rain in northeast North Carolina.  The rain will continue to spread northward into Hampton Roads.  A slight northeast breeze at 10-15 MPH.  No tidal flooding expected.
SATURDAY – Steady rain continues.  The rain will pick up in intensity by midday.  Moderate to heavy rain is likely through the evening hours.  This is where the rain will start to add up, which is the reason a FLASH FLOOD WATCH will be in effect for North Carolina and the Southside.  Winds will be out of the northeast at 10-15 MPH.  Nuisance tidal flooding expected during high tide at 2:47 PM.
SATURDAY NIGHT – Steady rain with bouts of heavy rain at times.  The wind will start to pick up between 20-30 MPH, gusting to 45 MPH.  Higher wind gusts expected farther south of the Albemarle Sound.  Minor tidal flooding expected during high tide at 3:09 AM.
SUNDAY – Light rain through the morning, but drying up through the afternoon.  The wind will be strongest – out of the north at 25-35 MPH, gusting to 45 MPH across Hampton Roads..50 MPH across northeast North Carolina..60 MPH closer to Rodanthe and Hatteras.  Minor, possibly moderate tidal flooding during high tide at 3:45 PM.
By Monday, we’ll put Matthew in our rear view mirror and welcome the sunshine back!
Here’s a closer look at what you can expect where you live:
In addition to Hurricane Matthew, a cold front will drop in from the northwest, so being squeezed between these two systems can cause the rain to add up.  Some of our forecast models suggest those rainfall numbers may be higher.
With stronger winds on Sunday, there will be minor to moderate tidal flooding:
Please avoid flooded roads, whether it’s from tidal flooding or heavy rain!
We’ll keep you updated throughout the weekend.
-Meteorologist Ashley Baylor

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