Hurricane Matthew: Slow, dangerous storm heads toward islands

Hurricane Matthew 5 a.m. track, 10/03/16

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TALKING THE TROPICS: A very, very erratic Matthew should straighten out 

Hurricane Matthew is maintaining its strength in the Caribbean and is expected to bring high surf and dangerous rip currents to North Florida.

According to the latest advisory, Hurricane Matthew is still a dangerous and slow-moving Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph.

A Hurricane Warning has been issued for the Bahamas, Jamaica and Haiti as the Category 4 hurricane makes its way toward the islands.

Matthew is forecast to be in the central Bahamas by Wednesday and east of northeast Florida’s coast by Friday morning.

The Category 4 storm will have minimal impact on Northeast Florida until Wednesday, but the storm is expected to bring high surf and an increased risk of deadly rip currents to the coast.

On the current forecast track, the center of Matthew will pass about 300 miles east of Mayport on Friday.

On Sunday, the National Weather Service launched a special weather balloon to gather data in support of forecasting the hurricane.

Governor Rick Scott is urging people to have a plan and prepare this weekend for any impacts the storm may bring to Florida.

The Navy has issued a mandatory evacuation for 700 spouses and children on board Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Service members and civilians will stay on the base and help recovery efforts once the storm passes.

After coming to a halt on Saturday, Matthew started crawling to the north-northwest at 7 mph.

Matthew is one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in recent history and briefly reached the top classification, Category 5, becoming the strongest hurricane in Jamaica since Felix in 2007.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Hurricane Matthew evening video discussion before FOX30 Action News Jacksonville at 10.

Posted by Garrett Bedenbaugh on Sunday, October 2, 2016