Tropical Storm Matthew will form in Caribbean and may approach US next week
There is a significant chance the tropical system brewing near the Caribbean could take a turn toward the United States next week.
"A budding tropical system is likely to become Tropical Depression Fourteen and then Tropical Storm Matthew at any time on Wednesday," AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said.
Matthew to threaten Caribbean into this weekend
Short-term rain, wind and sea impacts over the Caribbean will depend on how quickly the storm strengthens.
Breezes will evolve into stiff winds, seas will turn rough and spotty showers will transition to gusty squalls and potentially into severe thunderstorms as the system moves along in the Caribbean.
The first areas to feel the direct impacts will be the Windward and southern Leeward islands. Gusty squalls and building surf will unfold through Wednesday.
The effects of the storm have the potential to become more severe during the weekend.
"The system will take a westward path across the central Caribbean this weekend, where strengthening to a hurricane is possible," Kottlowski said.
Areas from the Dominican Republic and Haiti to Cuba and Jamaica, as well as Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, northern Venezuela and Colombia, should closely monitor the path and strength of the system, which could be a strong tropical storm or hurricane by Sunday.
Interaction with the large islands and mountains could hinder any strengthening.
Cruise, fishing and shipping interests in the Caribbean Sea may want to avoid the area until the threat passes beyond early next week.
Potential Matthew paths beyond this weekend include U.S.
The system could take a northward or northwestward turn late this weekend and into early next week.
How far west the system makes the turn will determine whether or not the U.S. Gulf Coast or the Atlantic Seaboard will be threatened next week.
The system's movement will also dictate which of the Greater Antilles would be directly affected by heavy rain, flooding, mudslides and strong winds this weekend.