Today 23 September 2010 as summer ended and autumn entered there appeared to be a ‘flash’ in the Caribbean and the tropical north Atlantic. tropical depression #15 became the 13th named tropical cyclone of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season as Tropical Storm MATTHEW, while weakening Tropical Depression LISA reignited and it is now back as Tropical Storm LISA.
Tropical Storm MATTHEW is quite a large cyclone moving west at 16 mph over the warmest Caribbean waters with current sustained winds of 40 mph, in a coupled atmosphere-ocean environment laden with high moisture content, which appears to favor further development in the next 24 – 36 hours. Models are projecting MATTHEW to take a track around the periphery of the Gulf of Honduras aiming for landfall as a category 1 hurricane in Belize to continue tracking generally toward the north traversing the full length of Quintana Roo state in Mexico. Obviously the ‘cone of uncertainty’ could also have MATTHEW making landfall in Nicaragua near the border with Honduras still as a tropical storm, or possibly take a more northerly route aiming for the northeastern coastal region in Quintana Roo, Mexico. In summary all interest in Central America and the Yucatan Peninsula must monitor progress of this tropical cyclone very closely as it appears MATTHEW will continue to generate extreme rain over the larger Caribbean basin, consequently the potential for flash flood and mudslides specially in mountainous regions in Central America and Mexico as well as coastal regions is high.
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