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Hurricane Matthew rapidly strengthens in Caribbean

Many computer models show system tracking off state's east coast

ORLANDO, Fla. – All eyes are on the Caribbean as Matthew rapidly strengthens into a Category 2 hurricane early Friday. Computer models continue to take the storm near Florida next week. 

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As of 5 a.m. Friday, the max winds are estimated at 100 mph. The forward progress is now west at 14 mph.

The track for the storm still has it making a right turn Saturday into Sunday. For now its still too early to forecast what effects, if any, the system will have on Central Florida.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Curacao and Aruba along with an area along the coast of Venezuela and Colombia.  

People across the three Dutch Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao were stocking up on fuel and other emergency supplies Thursday as Tropical Storm Matthew approached.

The so-called "ABC Islands" of the Southern Caribbean are outside of the hurricane belt and rarely get a direct hit from a storm. Aruba's weather service said the storm is expected to pass about 125 miles to the north.

Matthew passed over the eastern Caribbean on Wednesday, causing at least one death. Officials in St. Vincent say a 16-year-old boy died there as he tried to clear a blocked drain.

Meanwhile, more storms are in the forecast in Central Florida on Friday. 

Rain chances stand at 40-50 percent.

A cold front will approach northern Florida, but will not make it all the way through Central Florida.

 


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