KMSP - While much Florida likely dodged the worst case scenario, parts of Georgia and the Carolinas have not. Tremendous rain has fallen from Brunswick to the Outer Banks of North Carolina with more than 15 inches of rain and tremendous storm surge. Winds topped 90 mph on Hilton Head Island, likely one of the hardest hit areas. While a direct landfall was a good possibility, this storm has managed to stay just off shore and kept its strongest winds only a few miles from civilization. This storm had the highest potential in years to make landfall as a major hurricane, but just couldn’t quite do it coming within 25 miles of the Florida coast.
Now that it has had significant interaction with land, it continues to weaken, although heavy rain will continue to be a HUGE threat until it completes its journey back out to sea sometime on Sunday.
Matthew is now the longest living hurricane in the Northern Hemisphere in the 2016 season lasting over 9 days, many of those as a major hurricane with sustained winds over 115 mph. It is also one of the most powerful hurricanes ever on the accumulated cyclone energy index, a set of stats that can directly compare the overall energy of every cyclone in the world, assigning a graspable number to each one.
The major landfalling hurricane drought for the US will now continue as it won’t end with Matthew. It will be exactly 11 years just 2 weeks from now since hurricane Wilma made a Florida landfall back in 2005. At this point, doesn’t look like that streak will end until at least next season as no major storms are brewing in the Atlantic with the average yearly tropical activity significantly decreasing during the month of October.