Hurricane Matthew is approaching Walt Disney World, causing a number of closures and cancellations around the resort. Please stay in and stay safe!
The eye of Hurricane Matthews is less than 200 miles from the Florida coast; it is forecast to gain strength, making landfall as a category 4 hurricane overnight Thursday night into Friday morning. The storm will continue moving north towards Orlando early Friday, with models differing as to the extent it will impact the area. (We are seeing wind predictions of 85-130 MPH in Orlando…even the low end of that range is deadly.)
Overnight last night, Hurricane Matthews strengthened, with forecasts continuing to show it as one of the most potentially-devastating hurricanes to approach Florida in decades. Florida Governor Rick Scott has pleaded with coastal residents to heed evacuation orders, warning that the damage will be catastrophic, and that “this will kill you.”
Meteorologists were originally forecasting Hurricane Matthew to come within 50 miles of Florida as a Category 3 or 4 hurricane–but not make landfall. The latest projections show it moving farther inland and likely to make landfall on the Florida coast. While it’s not presently expected that the storm will hit Walt Disney World directly, it is expected to be close enough that winds and rains will pose a significant danger. (Orange County currently has a hurricane warning.)
This website’s official position on science (and I’m told meteorology is a form of science) is that “it’s bad,” so I won’t continue playing amateur meteorologist here. I’m just trying to underscore how serious this is, and that you shouldn’t take it lightly just because you’re at–or are going to–the ‘most magical place on earth.’
You can find the latest updates on Hurricane Matthew on the National Hurricane Center’s website or on your weather station/website of choice. While computer models are differing slightly on the details, the prevailing theme among forecasts is that this will be the worst storm to hit Florida since 2004.
Hurricane Matthew could end up drifting east from the coast, but not treating this as a serious threat would be foolish.