As a category 4 storm, Hurricane Matthew barreled toward Haiti on Monday, bringing dangerous winds and waves along with it. The storm had already caused at least three deaths in the Caribbean, but meteorologists continued to warn of an ongoing threat in the region. Soon enough, that threat might turn closer to home, as Hurricane Matthew could hit the U.S. later in the week.
The hurricane remained south of Haiti on Monday night, but it quickly began moving north with winds near 140 miles per hour. Although it hasn't officially made landfall, the storm has already caused widespread destruction throughout the Caribbean, including at least three confirmed deaths. One death occurred in Haiti, another in Colombia, and a third further east in Saint Vincent.
The devastation in the Caribbean was made even more severe by the already-poor conditions in the region. Haiti could suffer particularly devastating damage, with more than 40 inches of rain predicted for the island nation. As the poorest country in the western hemisphere, an overwhelming number of Haitians were ill-equipped to prepare for or to seek shelter during the storm. But the threat to Haiti — and to other countries — had not ended as the week began.
According to USA Today, the National Hurricane Center said on Monday that the threat to the U.S. from Hurricane Matthew had actually increased as the storm made its way through the Caribbean. That said, it was still too early to chart the storm's exact path. Still, many eastern states had begun to prepare as a result of the broad warnings.
On Monday, an American weather model showed that Hurricane Matthew would make its way up the East Coast of the U.S. later in the week and into the weekend. According to the weather model, Hurricane Matthew could bring hurricane effects to much of Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia, and the Northeast. Should the storm strike the east coast, it's likely to make landfall on or around Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Post also pointed to a European weather model that showed Hurricane Matthew remaining further out to sea. Still, even in the European model, much of America's East Coast could feel the effects of the storm.
In preparation for the impending storm, Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency on Monday. At the same time, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory declared states of emergency in several counties in his own state. Those declarations will make more resources available to the states preparing for Hurricane Matthew's destructive force. So, though destructive force has already become apparent in the Caribbean, conditions are still unclear for the U.S.