Hurricane update: Powerful Matthew crawling towards Jamaica, centre further away than earlier projected
Hurricane Matthew continues to crawl in a north westerly direction on a path that will take its centre further east away from Jamaica than was originally projected.
However, a hurricane warning remains in effect for the island with the centre of the category four storm now slated to pass nearest Jamaica on Monday evening into Tuesday.
Matthew will produce dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and exceptionally high waves, even though winds expected may be less than hurricane force.
The Met Service says at 8:00 a.m. the centre of Hurricane Matthew was located near Latitude 14.1 degrees North, Longitude 74.3 degrees West.
This is about 510 kilometres (315 miles) south-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica or 545 kilometres (340 miles) south-southwest of Port au Prince, Haiti.
Matthew is moving toward the northwest at 7 km/h (5 mph).
This general motion is expected to continue today, followed by a turn toward the north tonight.
Maximum sustained winds remain near 240 km/h (150 mph), with higher gusts.
The Met Service says there could be some fluctuations in intensity during the next couple of days, but Matthew is expected to remain a powerful hurricane through Monday night.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 km (25 miles) from the centre and tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 335 km (205 miles).
As Matthew moves closer to Jamaica, rainfall is expected to begin affecting eastern parishes as early as midday.
IN PHOTO: A screen grab taken from the Weather Channel show Matthew's projected path
It is expected to produce 10-20 inches of rainfall primarily across St. Mary, Portland, St. Thomas, Kingston and St. Andrew, with up to 25 inches at higher elevations.
Central and western parishes should expect two to four inches of rainfall.
The rains will produce extensive flooding and trigger dangerous landslides.
All small craft operators are further advised to remain in safe harbour until all warning messages have been lifted and wind and sea conditions return to normal.