NEW YORK — Could Hurricane Matthew pose a threat to the East Coast — and the tri-state area?
The National Hurricane Center said Matthew — previously a tropical storm — now has top sustained winds of 75 mph as of Thursday afternoon. It is moving westward at 17 mph and is centered about 190 miles northeast of the island of Curacao.
The storm is expected to climb up the eastern seaboard but as rain will continue to pummel the New York area this week, forecasters say it is too soon to tell if it will gain momentum or move out to sea.
Matthew passed over the eastern Caribbean on Wednesday, causing at least one death.
The forecast continues to show Matthew moving west through Saturday before it takes a turn to the north and head toward Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba. As it approaches the region on Monday, there is a potential for the winds top out at around 100 mph making it a Category 2 hurricane.
A tropical storm watch is in effect for Curacao and the islands of Bonaire and Aruba. People across the three Dutch Caribbean islands were stocking up on fuel and other emergency supplies Thursday ahead of the storm.