Hurricane Matthew barreling toward Florida at 120mph: expected to strengthen back to Cat 4 storm

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NOAA

At 200 PM EDT (1800 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Matthew was located
near latitude 22.1 North, longitude 75.3 West. Matthew is moving
toward the northwest near 12 mph (19 km/h), and this motion is
expected to continue during the next 24 to 48 hours. On this track,
Matthew will be moving across the Bahamas today and tomorrow, and is
expected to be very near the east coast of Florida by Thursday
evening.

Maximum sustained winds are near 120 mph (195 km/h) with higher
gusts.  Matthew is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson
Hurricane Wind Scale.  Some strengthening is forecast during the
next couple of days, and Matthew is expected to remain at category 3
or stronger while it moves through the Bahamas and approaches the
east coast of Florida.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from
the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175
miles (280 km).

The minimum central pressure reported by an Air Force Hurricane
Hunter plane was 963 mb (28.44 inches).
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for...
* Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Granma,
and Las Tunas
* Southeastern Bahamas, including the Inaguas, Mayaguana, Acklins,
Crooked Island, Long Cay, and Ragged Island
* Central Bahamas, including Long Island, Exuma, Rum Cay,
San Salvador, and Cat Island
* Northwestern Bahamas, including the Abacos, Andros Island,
Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, and
New Providence
* North of Golden Beach to the Flagler/Volusia county line
* Lake Okeechobee

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for...
* Cuban province of Camaguey
* North of the Flagler/Volusia county line to Fernandina Beach

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...
* Haiti
* Chokoloskee to Golden Beach
* Florida Keys from Seven Mile Bridge eastward
* Florida Bay

Interests elsewhere in the Florida Peninsula and the Florida Keys
should monitor the progress of Matthew.

The Hurricane Watch and Hurricane Warning for Cuba will likely be
discontinued later today.