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Weather & Natural Disasters

Could Matthew Swing Around for a Second Punch?

NBC News staff
Eye of the hurricane moves closer to Florida

Some computer models suggest Hurricane Matthew could "loop" around on itself and return to Florida next week as a weaker tropical storm or depression.

While it's far too early for any predictions to be reliable, some updated computer models indicate that Hurricane Matthew could circle around like a clock hand.

The National Hurricane Center's latest five-day forecast late Thursday night said two of the three computer models it uses suggest that, once it clears the Carolinas over the weekend, Matthew will head east, out over the Atlantic Ocean.

There, it could be forced back to the south by a ridge of air to its northwest, according to the models — sending it chasing its own tail back toward Florida. If it does return, it would do so as a much weaker tropical depression or tropical storm.

The NHC says projections like this are very imprecise, and Thursday night, it said "there is still a large spread" between various possible tracks for Matthew. In other words, the possible loop-di-loop is, at best, an educated guess.

But still: