6 Things You Need To Know About Hurricane Matthew

Photo: NOAA via Getty Images.
Hurricane Matthew has continued to gain strength and is now expected to hit Florida tonight as a Category 4 or 5 storm. According to the Weather Channel, Florida's eastern coast will be hit the hardest it has been since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Rain has already begun in Florida, and dangerous storm surges, destructive winds, and flooding are predicted to hit Georgia and South Carolina by the weekend.

At least 25 people were killed by Hurricane Matthew in the Caribbean, mostly in Haiti, NBC News reports.

This article was originally published on October 4, 2016.
Update October 5, 2016: Hurricane Matthew is currently north of Cuba and is beginning to strengthen as it approaches the Bahamas and southern Florida. At this point, the hurricane is expected to affect the Southeast United States starting Thursday, October 6, and continuing north through the weekend. According to The Weather Channel, Matthew's threat to the Northeast has decreased, as it is predicted to move further east into the Atlantic Ocean starting Sunday.

The Weather Channel also reports that as of 11:15 a.m. today, Hurricane Matthew's death toll has reached 11. There are believed to have been five deaths in Haiti, though the Weather Channel notes, determining the casualties there is difficult, because phone communication is down in many areas.
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To prepare for the most powerful Atlantic tropical storm since 2007, you're going to need to grab your umbrella and some facts. NBC News reported that Hurricane Matthew is now being characterized by the National Hurricane Center as a Category 4 storm as of 11 a.m. this morning.

Matthew has reached sustained winds of 145 mph, but that's not its only notable claim to fame. Here's what we know so far.

1. Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti at 7 a.m. Tuesday, October 4.
According to the Weather Channel, the eye of the storm made landfall in the southwestern portion of Haiti, including the town of Les Cayes, Tuesday morning. There is already significant flooding in this area of the country, and the Weather Channel reports that Haiti could get up to 20 inches of rain in lower elevations and up to 40 inches in the mountains.

2. Three people have been killed by Hurricane Matthew as of 12 p.m. October 4.
CNN reported that last Wednesday, a teenage boy was killed in a landslide caused by Hurricane Matthew in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In Haiti, a fisherman drowned Sunday, and another fisherman is presumed dead, though his body has yet to be recovered.

3. Hurricane Matthew is expected to move to Cuba next.
The NHC predicts that Cuba should expect between eight and 12 inches of rain in most areas. Jamaica and the Dominican Republic will also be significantly affected. The Weather Channel reports that mountainous areas could get over a foot of rain, though, which could lead to dangerous flash flooding and mudslides. Eastern Cuba will have the greatest chance of seeing the strongest winds, according to the Weather Channel.

4. A hurricane warning was issued for parts of the Bahamas early Tuesday.
The Weather Channel reports that Hurricane Matthew could take three or four days to clear the Bahamas. According to NBC News, a 10-to-15-foot storm surge is predicted here.

5. The extent to which Matthew will affect the United States is still unknown.
A large portion of the East Coast will certainly be affected by at least a tropical storm, according to the Weather Channel. As of Monday evening, the NHC said, "While there remains significant uncertainty in the track of Matthew in the long range, the threat to Florida and the southeastern U.S. coast has increased."

6. In the U.S., the areas between Florida and North Carolina are the most at risk.
According to NBC News, on Monday, both Florida and North Carolina have activated states of emergency. Included in that are 66 of 100 counties in North Carolina and all counties in Florida. NBC meteorologist Bill Karins predicts that Hurricane Matthew will still be a Category 3 or 4 hurricane by the time it reaches Florida on Thursday.

We'll keep you updated as we learn more.
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