- Models agree on a Category 3 storm hitting Florida once
- Some models say the storm could hit Florida again early next week
The first impact to Central Florida will be more dangerous; Matthew could make landfall in Florida Friday as a Category 3 hurricane, according to the latest projections. Authorities have urged more than 2 million people to leave their homes in coastal Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
Days later, some forecast models project, the storm will move up the coast and then curl back toward Florida.
Forecast models help predict the weather; they're run using supercomputers that input atmospheric data from around the world into specific formulas. Each model has a different formula, though, and the outcomes aren't always the same. When they are, it's more likely the forecast will be correct.
The American model, the Global Forecast System, known as GFS, has the storm weakening considerably and impacting southern Florida early next week. The European model shows the storm spinning back but predicts that it will stay offshore. Eventually, the European model shows the storm turning around, moving it east, farther into the Atlantic.
Meteorological models have improved a lot in the past 30 years. However, all the models are less accurate as they look further out. So, although a second landfall is possible in Florida next week, the chances are low, and the forecast could change quickly.