Hurricane Matthew’s impact will be felt here

October arrived with refreshing temperatures, thanks to a stalled storm system across the Ohio Valley last week. After days of showers and below-normal temperatures, the stalled storm system is now moving away, allowing for dry and milder weather to return. In fact, temperatures will likely stay above normal for the rest of this week.

Now, all eyes will shift to Hurricane Matthew and exactly where the storm will end up.

Even bigger changes may be in store for the Ohio Valley depending on the eventual track of the hurricane. Matthew has been an incredible storm, developing into a Category 1 hurricane as it moved into the Caribbean Sea late last week, and then rapidly strengthening into a Category 5 storm within 36 hours. Very few storms have had such rapid intensification.

Now this powerful storm is moving northward and could have a major impact on the East Coast of the United States. As of the writing of this article, its exact direct impacts are still unclear.

Some of the indirect impacts of this storm will likely take place once the storm moves north of our latitude and into eastern Canada or the western North Atlantic. If Matthew does track as some of the long-range models indicate, then it could vastly alter the weather pattern across the entire eastern half of the country. Large, powerful storm systems such as hurricanes or nor’easters can alter the jet stream flow, and cause the flow to buckle. Usually, the Ohio Valley winds up being on the colder side of this storm track.

While a lot of uncertainly exists, it appears the weather pattern will change across the Ohio Valley after Matthew lifts north. The long-range models show a trough developing across the eastern half of the country, bringing with it a more prolonged period of cooler weather. High temperatures will likely fall back into the 60s with lows back in the 40s. If Matthew does happen to shift onshore into New England late this week or during the weekend, then it is possible even colder air will funnel in on the back side, sending temperatures into the 30s.

It is important to note though, if Matthew does stay out to sea, then the Climate Prediction Center believes warmer than average temperatures will return to our area and could stick around through the rest of autumn.

Isn’t it amazing how one storm can make such a huge difference? It is the “butterfly effect” in action.

Eric Elwell is WHIO StormCenter 7 Chief Meteorologist. Contact him at eric.elwell@coxinc.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.