By Paul Homewood
According to the official records, it hit 160 mph sustained speeds on 1st October, making it the first Cat 5 Atlantic hurricane since 2007. Apparently, if you believe the official view of events, Matthew intensified from a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir–Simpson scale to a Category 5 hurricane in just 24 hours.
However, extremely suspiciously, it only stayed at Cat 5 for 6 hours, before weakening. (In fact, NOAA’s records are at 6-hourly intervals – Matthew reached Cat 5 speeds of 140 Kts at 6.00am on Oct 1st, but dipped to Cat 4 speeds of 135 Kts at 12.00 am. Therefore it stayed at Cat 5 speeds for UNDER 6 hours.)
However, as I have pointed out before, these categorisation of wind speeds are not based on actual measurements, as they would have been in the past. Instead, they are derived from Track History, which in NOAA’s own words is defined as:
Track history for each storm is created from the operational warnings that are issued every six hours by NHC, CPHC , and JTWC . The positions and intensities are best estimates of those quantities when the warning is issued. THESE ARE NOT BEST TRACKS – having not been reanalyzed in any systematic manner.
So, somehow, Matthew’s windspeeds are supposed to have risen precipitously not in actuality, but because that is what was forecast by NOAA.
But what actually happened?
Whether we trust what the satellites tell us or not, NOAA’s actual plots show that Matthew barely got above 100 Kts, and nowhere near the green line, which is the Best Track which they forecast, and on which all of the hyped news reports have been based on. (100 Kts would put Matthew as a Cat 3).