Matthew Could Get Loopy, Hit Florida Twice

October 5th, 2016 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

(UPDATED 7:25 a.m. EDT Thursday October 6)

Several days ago, it seemed unlikely that Major Hurricane Matthew, now with 125 mph sustained winds, would come close enough to the east coast of Florida to pose a serious threat.

But now many of the recent weather forecast model runs have Matthew possibly hitting the Sunshine State twice, separated by about 4-5 days during which the hurricane does a complete loop and return to the state weaker, probably as a Tropical Storm (model graphic courtesy of


This is a large departure from previous forecasts, and the National Hurricane Center’s discussion this morning is still hinting at the new scenario where Matthew does not recurve poleward the way most hurricanes do. It’s possible Matthew will then cross Florida and enter the Gulf of Mexico. Such unusual hurricane tracks are particularly difficult to forecast.

Of course, the worst impacts will be along the eastern shore of Florida tonight and Friday as Matthew is supposed to arrive as an historic Category 4 storm, making landfall 4,001 days after the last major hurricane (Cat 3 or stronger) hit the U.S. (Wilma in 2005).

If “Loopy Matthew” hits Florida twice, I suppose it’s fitting that it affords Florida coastal residents a chance to hold the longest hurricane party ever.

103 Responses to “Matthew Could Get Loopy, Hit Florida Twice”

Toggle Trackbacks

    • now there’s a stupid wind energy idea. Be able to harvest maybe 5-10 times the usual wind energy, but for only 1 day out of 1,000. That takes the intermittent power problem of wind power to a whole new level.

      • Ric Werme says:

        Yes, but don’t forget the marvelous new battery technologies coming “Real Soon Now.”

        Wind energy varies with the cube of wind speed (both kinetic energy for v^2 and the mass/second for another v), so its a lot more.

        Maybe if you put a bunch of these on a big barge and used batteries for ballast, then put it in the path of the storm, and later tow the barge to a coastal coal plant and connect to the grid there.

        Time to go find a patent attorney!

        • alphagruis says:

          Yes, but don’t forget to apply for public funding of your research…

        • MikeN says:

          Why can’t wind and solar be used to power regular batteries, like Duracells?

          • HA! says:

            You guys are hilarious

          • Alan R. Rice says:

            America the land of the stupid, ill informed, and totally ignorant…

            Thanks to the Democratic party, EPA, and wacko environmentalists,
            America which has 35% of the World’s rare Earth Minerals, needed to make GIANT Battery Farms, No longer mines, nor has the manufacturing and processing capabilities to make Giant Battery farms.
            The Democratically controlled EPA shut down the last US Lead manufacturing plant.

        • Alan R. Rice says:

          America the land of the stupid, ill informed, and totally ignorant…

          Thanks to the Democratic party, EPA, and wacko environmentalists,
          America which has 35% of the World’s rare Earth Minerals, needed to make GIANT Battery Farms, No longer mines, nor has the manufacturing and processing capabilities to make Giant Battery farms.
          The Democratically controlled EPA shut down the last US Lead manufacturing plant.

          A Tornado damaged a large Solar farm, at Fort Ripley, MN. creating a serious environmental hazard, as the silicon dust from the broken panels, is just as dangerous as asbestos.

          All the Current vertical wind-mill designs, are not as efficient than a Horizontally designed wind-mill. Due to the stress on the Vertical designs, they often catch on fire.

          Horizontal wind-mills can capture 80% more energy, than vertical wind-mills, that kill 100,000’s of Birds every year.

          • pochas94 says:

            I know were stupid, ill informed and totally ignorant, but silicosis from damaged solar panels? Replace vertical windmills with horizontal?

        • John Harold says:

          If you live near the Sea, tides could provide more energy than we could ever use. But try building a doghouse anywhere near the Ocean when the Molting Mullet might possibly suffer some population loss.
          Hydro-electric is the baby. Air is too soft. No horsepower to air unless it’s a hurricane. Tides come in and out, are completely predictable, and pack zillions of horsepower in those briny waves.

  1. skeptikal says:

    “Such unusual hurricane tracks are particularly difficult to forecast, and I suspect the NHC forecasters are beginning to tear their hair out over this storm.”

    Predictions are always difficult to make, especially about the future.

    • KenBooth says:

      It happened once before in 1965 when Hurricane Betsy did loop over the Atlantic came back down, crossed over Fla., entered the Gulf and made landfall between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

      • Sidney says:

        I remember Betsy well and I thought this storm was doing the same thing. I was in Thibodaux went out during the eye and looked at the stars. When I could hear noises like metal being drug I went back inside and closed the open windows we had on the lee side of the house and opened the windows on the opposite side of the house a little.
        I believe Betsy crossed Florida then turned around and went between Florida and Cuba The Hurricane trackers lost it for a wile as it went over Cuba then it bore down on Louisiana.

      • Jason says:

        Did we all forget about Ivan not too long ago, went all the way up the US east coast and then looped around for a second go….

  2. Curious George says:

    Supercomputers are busy predicting the climate in year 2100.

  3. Francisco Fernandez says:

    With the alarmism surrounding the hurricane will be hilarious if it drops in intensity and is not ‘as bad as we thought’.

    Wouldn’t be the first time the media and forecasters overreact.

    • lewis says:

      IT has become the job of the media to hyperventilate then report the latest scary story.

      As my grandson says “It’s a scary monster” He could be a newscaster.

  4. Martin C says:

    Dr. Spencer, on the discussion of “a hurricane hitting U.S. : what defines ‘being hit’? Does the eye have to cross over land?

    If Matthew’s eye stayed well out to see, and the coast only saw, maybe 80-90 kt winds, would the U.S. STILL have not been hit by a major hurricane in the 4000+ days?

    Maybe this becomes moot shortly – but still curious as to the answer . . . thanks,

  5. Martin C says:

    . .oh geez, ” . .well out to SEA, not see . .”

    • throwemout says:

      Geez!…you are right- he was wrong- do you feel better now? I don’t like misspellings at all but to care enough to embarrass someone when you know exactly what he/she is talking about is somewhat…childish. Geez!

      • Martin C says:

        throwemout says on October 6, 2016 at 5:37 AM . . .

        . . .umm, are you just ignorant, or did you not look close, and respond too fast. I was CORRECTING MY own typo just above that, not criticizing someone else.

        Or didn’t you notice the name on BOTH posts IS THE SAME . . ?

  6. Here’s the Loop de Loop as forecast by GFS.

    Interesting to see if it validates.

  7. Jane says:

    do you still think hurricanes are to big to kill?

  8. DesertDweller says:

    Global Warming??? Look again.

  9. Bryan says:

    Unless you retrofit the data. #hindsight2020

  10. Steve says:

    Lets see. The top so called climate scientists can’t predict a hurricanes path 48 hrs. from now, but can tell us that in the next 80 years sea levels and temperatures are going to rise to catastrophic levels. 🤔😖. Let that sink in for awhile.

    • Scott says:

      But but but but Algore said!!!!

    • Sidney says:

      Give Al Gore your money he will take care of spending it.

    • Fed Up says:

      Climate change is made up so people like Gore could get power and money. IT IS NOT REAL and only sheep follow believing. We have had hurricanes like this before and will again, its nothing new ITS MOTHER NATURE! If they were right we would have had hurricanes like this constantly for the last 10 years and we haven’t
      However the fact that it isn’t due to warming or change it is still dangerous and everyone needs to take it seriously and get out of the way. The costs will be much higher-not because it is stronger than others but because so many idiots have moved to Florida and built houses that take away ground to absorb water so flooding will be bad and there is always wind damage. All of this has happened before and will happen again so stop the drama of warming and change and just get out of the way.

    • David Appell says:

      Steve says:
      “Lets see. The top so called climate scientists cant predict a hurricanes path 48 hrs. from now, but can tell us that in the next 80 years sea levels and temperatures are going to rise to catastrophic levels.”

      In science it is often easier to predict the evolution of large, long-term parameters than to predict small, short-term parameters.

      Examples: thermodynamics, classical mechanics, fluid mechanics, electrodynamics, and pretty much everything taught in freshman physics. Viz, anything classical.

      It would be very difficult to calculate the changes in all the temporary warm and cool spots in a swimming pool. But it’s straightforward to calculate the evolution of the pool’s average temperature.

    • barry says:

      The top so called climate scientists cant predict a hurricanes path 48 hrs. from now, but can tell us that in the next 80 years sea levels and temperatures are going to rise to catastrophic levels

      The interminable confusion between weather and climate….

      I can’t tell you if the next flip is going to be heads or tails, but I can give you the probability of it being heads over 1000 flips to pretty good accuracy.

      Climate is the average of weather. The top scientists can’t predict in May the temperature of a day in July but they can predict that Summer will be warmer than Winter, and by how much to fairly good accuracy.

  11. Patrick says:

    2004 was not a joke

  12. Jorge Blanco says:

    What are you talking about, the climate scientist know what’s going to be occurring without doubt 20, 50, a 100 years in the future and that is “settled science”.

  13. Elmo Glick says:

    That’s an understatement. That’s why I generally stick to backward-looking predictions.

  14. Ws ramsey says:

    I always wanted someone to model a simultaneous explosion of multiple “Gulf War model Daisy Cutter non nuclear bombs”, positioned within the edge of the eyewalll within X hours before landfall. The concept would be to temporairly deform and disrupt the eyewall to deminish strength before it makes landfall. If computer modelling would confirm it is possible, then try to get the congress to budget a plan for the military and NOAA to build and station the planes and assorted support equipment in place. The system could be of use when a storm of this size threatens justifiable destruction. If we do not perform R&D on offensive technology then as populations grow at some point you will not be able to move that many people quick enough.

    • Scott says:

      I’m in favor of any idea that involves Daisy Cutters.

    • Sidney says:

      If you did this you would be sued for all the damage the storm causes. Hurricanes always cause damage,

      • cade says:

        You have to go Nuclear. Big time nuclear to have any chance of disrupting it. I have puzzled over this. With all the nuclear testing we have been doing over the past 10-15 years I am sure we have nukes with half lives of like an hour or less now right? Right we have been testing nukes right??

    • Trekker43 says:

      I can’t believe the weather modeling computers that predict ‘global warming’ with such certainty missed this hurricane’s path. Let’s allocate billions of dollars and make a new science to study it and maybe we’ll soon understand.

    • michael says:

      Daisy Cutters would be Popcorn Farts to a hurricane, so would nukes.

  15. Sedition says:

    BFD. We got hurricane Elana twice back in the 80s…and I got blasted both times.
    And if I hear one more comment from a TV talking head about “Superstorm Sandy”, I’m going to fall down face first and shoot live puppies from my backside. Sandy was a Cat. 1…nothing super about it other than NY being completely unprepared for it. I would ride a big wheel to work in a Cat. 1 down here in Florida.

  16. RAH says:

    It sure is looking like the our hiatus (some call it a drought) Is going to end.

  17. steve says:

    And they’d drive a big wheel in 2 feet of snow while the south comes to a halt with the threat of two inches.

    Perspective, homie.

  18. HAARP Anyone? says:

    My My they HAARPED and chemtrailed themselves up a mighty strange storm here haven’t they?

  19. Juanita Broaddrick's Upper Lip says:

    Katrina reboot?

    “Barack Obama doesn’t care about half-black people.” ~ Kanye East

  20. GoCubs says:

    Hurricane Jeane made a loop in the Atlantic before hitting the east coast of Florida in 2004.

  21. Salvatore says:
    South Florida Hurricane Matthew

  22. Can I leave a comment without using Twitter?
    Am I required to post my real name?
    May I post another name if I’m “feeling that way”?

    • Lewis says:

      You may post under almost any name except one, which I cannot name because my comment would not be allowed.
      No one needs your personal name, or even the name you would prefer or even your secret name, although Smaug probably knows it already.
      Just be relatively polite.

  23. Roy Spencer…. clearly didn’t attend a class on tact or good taste suring your days in academia.

    Your comment about affording Florida coastal residents an opportunity to have a five-day “hurricane party” is worthy of a throat-punch.

    Further proof that complete idiots can be “educated.”

    There’s nothing even remotely funny about the economic and societal impacts that a serious storm wreaks in coastal communities.

    You’re an ass.

  24. Rick73662 says:

    This hurricane will not hit Florida. I asked God to push it out to sea. This will soon become an act of God, not filthy globalists. Jesus has returned.

  25. Pouncekitty says:

    Why are we taxpayers supporting you idiots who live in Hurricane alley? You want the rest of us to support your dopey decision to live in a hurricane zone. Why? Why don’t you pay for my snow plowing? Creeps.

    • dave says:

      “Why don’t you pay for my snow plowing?”

      I thought that was a chief amusement? Seriously.

      I had occasion once to visit Little Falls in New York State in the summer (very pleasant country) and I asked the fellow showing me around what they did for fun; and he answered “Ploughing contests;” and then I said “But what about the winter?” and he answered “Snow plowing contests.” At first I thought he was joking, but he went on to describe the niceties in a pretty convincing way.

    • Lewis says:

      Forget the excuse, those who live at the beach or in certain rich communities have better access to politicians. (See Clinton Foundation and Pay to Play)

    • David Appell says:

      “Why dont you pay for my snow plowing? Creeps.”

      “Governor Baker Announces Historic Federal Disaster Assistance for Last Winters Record Snowfall: Municipalities, state agencies, private non-profits receiving over $120 million in FEMA reimbursements,” Dec 9, 2015.

  26. FATHEREAGLE says:

    What the hell did DRUDGE send me here?? Is he a warming cook too????

  27. Arthur Palmer says:

    Duracell, a regular battery like Duracell. ..?

  28. Professor Fate says:

    It was sunny and beautiful here in Vero Beach, FL today. Zero hints that a Cat 3 ‘cane was bearing down on us. People are preparing or leaving, of course, but you can see how places like Galveston, TX and the Florida Keys and the Spanish Treasure Fleets were caught flat footed by ‘canes many years ago.

  29. paulb says:

    welp, risking hurricanes, face-eating meth addicts and the eponymous Florida Man is a small price to pay to put 1000+ miles between us and the sodomites, socialites and socialists who infest the northeast like ticks on a ‘taint.
    FL hasn’t had much hurricane activity of late. Might dislodge the carpetbaggers and parasitic democrats (but I repeat myself) who have metastasized their way down.

  30. ren says:

    Matthew would go north along the east coast.

  31. Charles Miller says:

    And how often have hurricane forecasts EVER been accurate? The “looping” forecasts are 2 out of about 50 forecasts. Seemingly, you can predict ANY TRACK you want…one of them may eventually be correct.

  32. FeistyFetacinni says:

    FL voted twice foe Obama. Double wammy?

  33. knightflyerii says:

    Another HAARP generated weather catastrophe?

  34. Lori says:

    Yes and cell phones, cheap dollar store calculators have solar power, why not cell phones?

  35. Rich says:

    Really? Birds? I don’t think your that ridiculous to care about birds that aren’t for food. We are an inch away from being as 3rd world as Mexico because of dumb shit like this. George Washington would hang ur ass if he read this. Vote for trump and stop being a giant pu$$y.

  36. Simmons says:

    A hurricane “getting loopy” seems unlikely.

    Most of the time the “air” moves with the land as the Earth spins.

    The rotation of a hurricane creates a kind of “flying saucer” that “unlocks” the movement of the air with the land.

    Restated, a hurricane is a stable air mass that basically “stands still” while the earth moves.

    Do not see any loops in the earth’s movement.

  37. Mike M. says:


    The storage problem with tides should be relatively easy to manage since the low power periods are short and completely predictable. Unlike wind or waves where you can have many days in a row with low power.

  38. Ed Bo says:

    Ummm, he was noting his own typo…

  39. Jane says:

    mat is a dud

  40. DandeVille says:

    Sorry if I missed it, was Supperstorm Sandy in 2012 not a major cat 3 hurricane?

  41. John Silver says:

    Not on landfall, which is what counts.

  42. ren says:

    When the jet stream will push further south in the west of the hurricane will pass along the east coast.

  43. John Silver says:

    Counts in the statistics of the number of hurricanes that hit the US.
    It only counts as a tropical storm that hit the US.

  44. Mack Martin says:

    Can you comment on the use of Chaos theory/ Chaos mathematics in the weather models that show the predicted path of hurricanes.

Leave a Reply