By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, MIAMI, FL, Fri. Sept. 30, 2016: Hurricane Matthew was just moments ago updated to a category 4 hurricane by the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Hurricanes reaching Category 4 and higher are considered major hurricanes because of their potential for significant loss of life and damage. The Saffir-Simpson hurricane only goes up to Category 5. At 5 p.m., Matthew was about 75 miles north east of Punta Gallinas, Colombia and about 465 Miles southeast of Kingston, Jamaica with winds now at 140 mph.
Some additional strengthening is possible tonight, and some fluctuations in intensity are possible Saturday and Sunday. Matthew is expected to remain a powerful hurricane through Sunday.
The change in strength caused the government of Colombia to change the Tropical Storm Watch to a Tropical Storm Warning, meaning that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the next 12 to 24 hours. A hurricane watch was this afternoon issued for Jamaica while a Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the southwestern coast of Haiti from the southern border with the Dominican Republic to Port-Au-Prince.
Interests elsewhere along the coasts of Venezuela and Colombia as well as Hispaniola and eastern Cuba are being warned by NHC to monitor the progress of Matthew.
A turn toward the west-northwest is forecast by Saturday night, followed by a turn toward the northwest on Sunday. On the forecast track, the center of Matthew will move north of the Guajira Peninsula tonight, move across the central Caribbean Sea on Saturday, and be near Jamaica on Sunday.