UPDATE, 10/5, 11:30 p.m. With Matthew now increasingly looking like it will head south (and maybe hit Florida a second time), we're going back down to Green/Los.
UPDATE, 10/4, 11:30 p.m. And just like that, we're no longer in the Cone of Probability for Sunday - models now show Matthew missing us to the south and east. Still, as the National Hurricane Center says in its 11 p.m. report, things could change.
UPDATE, 10/4, 11:30 a.m. The Cone of Probability has been extended into New England for Sunday. French-toast stations, everyone! Still just at Guarded, though, because the NHC is still repeated its earlier caveat:
It is too soon to specify what, if any, direct impacts Matthew might have on the remainder of the U.S. east coast farther north. At a minimum, very dangerous beach and boating conditions are likely along much of the U.S. east coast later this week and weekend.
Still, we're going to have to spend some time today considering the proposal to go to a more liquor-based alert system for this storm.
UPDATE, 10/4, 10 a.m. The NWS in Boston reports our weekend forecast is unclear due to the uncertainties of Matthew:
Even a miss or near miss will result in some impacts across southern New England. These include the marine impacts listed above as well as the potential for heavy rainfall either with Matthew or with a Predecessor Rainfall Event (PRE).
Stay tuned to updates throughout the week. For now, it looks like the earliest it would be as far north as southern New England would be Saturday, but could certainly be later in the weekend or into early next week.
Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center's cone of probability now extends to the southernmost tip of New Jersey.
UPDATE, 10/3, 11:10 p.m. The National Hurricane Center keeps us on our toes, all fidgety like:
Tropical storm or hurricane conditions could affect portions of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina later this week or this weekend, even if the center of Matthew remains offshore. It is too soon to specify what, if any, direct impacts Matthew might have on the remainder of the U.S. east coast farther north. At a minimum, very dangerous beach and boating conditions are likely along much of the U.S. east coast later this week and weekend.
UPDATE, 10/3, 1 p.m. Parts of the Carolinas now in Matthew's "cone of probability" for Saturday, still too early to say whether we'd be next.
UPDATE, 10/2, 12:30 p.m. Matt's looking increasingly like it could collide with the East Coast, but it's still too early to say for sure, or where, although Weather Underground is looking at North Carolina. In the meantime, enjoy this hypnotic visualization of the winds swirling around the storm.
UPDATE, 10/1, 10:40 a.m. Matty's back down to merely Category 4; still too early to say if we should be rushing out for plywood and eggs.
UPDATE, 9/30, 6:50 p.m. The National Hurricane Center says Matthew is now a Category 5 storm, and it doesn't get any higher than that.
UPDATE, 9/30, 6:50 p.m. Entire east coast at potential risk later next week. Storm now a Category 4. Inside the eye.
UPDATE, 9/30, 2:20 p.m. A bit early to start thinking about plywood sheets, but Hurricane Matthew is turning into an interesting storm. For one thing, it intensified from a tropical storm to a Level 3 hurricane in less than a day, despite some significant wind shear that normally inhibits hurricane growth. More important, for those of us in the Greater French Toast Region, is that it's expected to turn northward, toward the East Coast. Now, it could still head deeper into the Caribbean, or pull a Hermine and just head out into the middle of the Atlantic. It's just too early to say. But as Eric Fisher wrote a couple days ago, the storm bears watching, especially because of its resemblance to Hurricane Hazel, which rammed into the East Coast in 1954. And so we will, with one eye pointed at the Caribbean, the other looking around for that bottle of maple syrup. Green for now, but with a finger on the button to go higher if need be.
The French Toast Alert System has been developed in consultation with local and federal emergency officials to help you determine when to panic and rush to the store to buy milk, eggs and bread.
Low: No storm predicted. Harvey Leonard sighs and looks dour on the evening news. Go about your daily business but consider buying second refrigerator for basement, diesel generator. Good time to replenish stocks of maple syrup, cinnamon.
Guarded: Light snow predicted. Subtle grin appears on Harvey Leonard's face. Check car fuel gauge, memorize quickest route to emergency supermarket should conditions change.
Elevated: Moderate, plowable snow predicted. Harvey Leonard openly smiles during report. Empty your trunk to make room for milk, eggs and bread. Clear space in refrigerator and head to store for an extra gallon of milk, a spare dozen eggs and a new loaf of bread.
High: Heavy snow predicted. Harvey Leonard breaks into huge grin, can't keep his hands off the weather map. Proceed at speed limit before snow starts to nearest supermarket to pick up two gallons of milk, a couple dozen eggs and two loaves of bread - per person in household.
Severe: Nor'easter predicted. This is it, people, THE BIG ONE. Harvey Leonard makes repeated references to the Blizzard of '78. RUSH to emergency supermarket NOW for multiple gallons of milk, cartons of eggs and loaves of bread. IGNORE cries of little old lady you've just trampled in mad rush to get last gallon of milk. Place pets in basement for use as emergency food supply if needed.
Busy developer type person? Use the French Toast Alert data set to build those state-of-the-art iPhone apps.
Put the French Toast Alert System on your site! Copy and paste the following where you want the alert to show up. It's 124 pixels wide by 126 pixels high:
Become the alert: Buy an official French Toast Alert T-shirt and run around updating your neighbors:
Toastaphon: Toast image derived from this French Toast sammich photo by Bunchofpants.