Hurricane Matthew strengthens into Category 5, now strongest Atlantic storm since 2007

Posted at 1:46 PM, Sep 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-30 23:19:32-04

hurricane-stats-trackHurricane Matthew has strengthened into a major Category 5 storm in the Caribbean Sea.

As of 11 p.m. Friday, the storm was located about 80 miles NW of Punta Gallinas, Colombia.

The storm has maximum sustained winds of 160 miles per hour and was traveling west at 7 miles per hour.

Matthew is now the strongest storm in the Atlantic Ocean since Felix in 2007.

The storm is predicted to continue heading west. Matthew is forecast to take a turn toward the west-northwest by Saturday night, followed by a turn toward the northwest by early Sunday.

Hurricane-force-winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center.

On the forecast track, the center of Matthew will pass north of Guajira Peninsula later tonight and tonight and remain over the central Caribbean Sea through early Sunday.

The First Warning Storm Team will be paying very close attention to Matthew over the next several days. By the middle of next week, the storm is expected to move north. Most of the tropical models keep the center of the storm away from Hampton Roads and Northeastern North Carolina for now. However, we will likely see high surf and a high threat of rip currents along the coast by midweek.

Click here for the current local forecast