The Trajectory Of Hurricane Matthew Could Be Absolutely Devastating

Hurricane Matthew is on track to hit Florida late Thursday, and could potentially cause “devastating impacts” over the next few days, according to the National Weather Service. Almost 2 million people in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina has have been told to evacuate on account of the hurricane, which the Weather Channel is calling “potentially catastrophic.” In light of this, plenty of folks in the affected areas are wondering: What is Hurricane Matthew’s trajectory?

According to the National Hurricane Center, Matthew will move in a roughly counterclockwise fashion over the weekend. Approaching from the south, it’s projected to hit Florida’s east coast on Thursday evening and continue in a northwestern direction along the eastern half of the state through Friday. After that, it's expected to graze along the coast of Georgia and South Carolina through Saturday before moving east and ending up back in the Atlantic Ocean by Sunday afternoon.

Make no mistake: This is legitimately dangerous situation. Matthew has already killed at least 108 people in Haiti alone, and winds are expected to reach a staggering 145 mph once Matthew hits Florida. If you’re in an area that’s been issued an evacuation order, you should evacuate, full stop. Here’s a current list of areas that have been given evacuation orders, but if you’re living anywhere near the hurricane’s projected path, you should continue to check the National Weather Service for up-to-date advisories.

Unfortunately, there are some people who are insisting, recklessly and without evidence, that the NWS is overstating the severity of Hurricane Matthew in order to make a political point about climate change. I wish I were making this up, but longtime conservative news aggregator Matt Drudge made this point on Twitter, accusing the hurricane center of having “a monopoly on data” and claiming that there’s “no way of verifying [its] claims.”

Don't buy it. We have not yet invented time machines, and so there’s never any way to “verify” that a predicted event will happen until it happens. That’s what a prediction is. It would be exceedingly unwise for anybody in the hurricane’s path to wait for “verification” — that is, Matthew wreaking havoc on their homes — before evacuating.

In anticipation of the hurricane’s arrival, President Obama signed an executive order to expedite federal aid money to Florida and South Carolina, and has spoken with the governors of Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia.