Winds decrease a bit more as powerful hurricane threatens Jamaica

NOAA/Weather Underground via AP

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) – Jamaicans are bracing for a visit from one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in recent history.

Hurricane Matthew, with winds of 145 mph, is roaring across the Caribbean Sea on a course that also puts parts of Haiti and Cuba in danger.

Matthew is expected to bring heavy rainfall especially to the eastern tip of Jamaica and higher elevations, which could trigger flooding and landslides. Forecasters said rainfall totals could reach 10 to 15 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 25 inches in Jamaica and southwestern Haiti.

As of 11 a.m. EDT, the storm was centered about 390 miles south-southwest of Kingston, Jamaica, moving west at 6 mph. A turn toward the west-northwest is forecast later today, followed by a turn toward the north-northwest on Sunday and toward the north on Monday. On the forecast track, the center of Matthew would move across the central Caribbean Sea today and Sunday, and approach Jamaica and southwestern Haiti Sunday night and Monday.

Forecasters say some fluctuations in intensity are possible this weekend, but Matthew is expected to remain a powerful hurricane through Monday.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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