It’s official: Hurricane Matthew is a monster.
- The storm maintained Category 4 or 5 status for 102 hours, longer than any other October Atlantic hurricane on record.
- It intensified from a Cat 1 to Cat 5 storm in 24 hours, which only two hurricanes have done before.
- It has generated more Accumulated Cyclone Energy (a measurement of intensity) than any previous eastern Caribbean hurricane.
- It was the first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall in Haiti since 1964 — and only the third Cat 4 to strike that country on record.
If Matthew makes U.S. landfall, it could set still more records: the first major hurricane to strike the country since 2005, and the only one to hit the Florida coast north of Miami in October. (October typically produces fewer strong storms than the peak summer months — but studies show that could change as ocean temperatures warm.)
Matthew is already responsible for more than 100 fatalities in the Caribbean, and U.S. officials are telling residents to take it seriously. Warned Florida Gov. Rick Scott: “This storm will kill you.”