The National Hurricane Center upgraded to Matthew to hurricane Thursday afternoon.
Reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that the maximum sustained winds have increased to near 75 mph with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is expected during the next 48 hours.
Matthew will cross the Caribbean heading west-southwest through Saturday when it will begin to turn more northward.
Eventually, upper-level winds over the United States will produce a steering flow that will allow Matthew to head across Eastern Cuba and The Bahamas early next week.
There remains some uncertainty within the tropical model solutions whether the storm will accelerate up the East Coast of the United States or move more slowly through the Bahamas.
At this time, the threat for Matthew to enter the Gulf of Mexico is low but bears watching.
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