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Matthew Keeps Gaining Strength, Becomes Category 5 Hurricane

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Matthew hasn't stopped gaining strength and is now a Category 5 hurricane, making it the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic since Felix in 2007.

At 11:00 p.m., the center of Hurricane Matthew was located about 80 miles north of Punta Gallinas, Colombia and about 440 miles southeast of Kingston, Jamaica.

Data from an Air Force Hurricane Hunter plane indicate that the maximum sustained winds have increased to near 160 mph with higher gusts. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles.

Some fluctuations in intensity are possible this weekend, but Matthew is expected to remain a powerful hurricane through Sunday.

Matthew is moving just south of due west near 7 mph. A turn toward the west-northwest is forecast on Saturday, followed by a turn toward the northwest on Sunday.

On the forecast track, the center of Matthew will move north of the Guajira Peninsula Friday night, move across the central Caribbean Sea on Saturday, and be approaching Jamaica late Sunday.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for:

  • Jamaica

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • Colombia/Venezuela border to Riohacha

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

  • Haiti from the southern border with the Dominican Republic to Port-Au-Prince

Rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches, with isolated higher amounts, are expected over Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and the coast of Colombia from the Venezuelan border to Riohacha. Rainfall totals of 1 to 2 inches, with isolated higher amounts, are expected along the coast of Venezuela from Coro to the Colombian border. Rainfall totals of 10 to 15 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 25 inches, are expected across Jamaica and southern and southwestern Haiti.

Swells generated by Matthew are expected to affect portions of the coasts of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Jamaica, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Venezuela, and Colombia during the next few days.

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