Hurricane Watch Issued for Jamaica as Major Hurricane Matthew Continues to Rapidly Intensify


Major Hurricane Matthew strengthened to a high-end Category 4 by mid-Friday evening, and it continues to rapidly strengthen.

The storm poses a danger to Jamaica, parts of Hispañola, eastern Cuba and the Bahamas early next week. Its potential U.S. impact later next week still remains unclear.

Hurricane Matthew became the fifth hurricane of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season early Thursday afternoon.

Matthew was located 80 miles north-northwest of Punta Gallinas, Colombia, as of Friday evening.

A Hurricane Hunters reconnaissance mission Friday evening measure winds of 150 mph in a dropsonde in Matthew’s eyewall. The central pressure continues to quickly drop as Matthew intensifies.

A hurricane watch has been issued for Jamaica. Winds of 75 mph or greater are possible on Monday, and tropical storm force winds may begin late Sunday.

A tropical storm warning continues for he northern coast of Colombia. Winds of 40 mph or greater are likely in northern Colombia on Friday evening.

A tropical storm watch has been issued for the southern coast of Haiti from the border of the Dominican Republic to Port-Au-Prince. Tropical storm force winds may begin there by late Sunday.

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