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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Matthew stalls; dumps heavy rain on Central America

Tropical Depression Matthew has become essentially stationary as it unloads it land over Central America. Matthew slammed ashore a few days ago in northern Nicaragua as a tropical storm. As the storm moves northwestward into Honduras, it degraded to a depression and slowed significantly.

Now Matthew is unloading all of the moisture it contains over an area that is already waterlogged due to a summer of heavy rainfall.

Weakened Matthew drenches parts of Central America(Lexington Herald Leader)
GUATEMALA CITY -- Matthew was drenching parts of Central America Sunday, a day after it weakened to a tropical depression.

The storm's forward movement was slowing as its top winds fell, meaning it could become nearly stationary somewhere over Mexico by late Sunday. Forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said the slow pace was going to allow the storm to produce rainfall totals of 6 to 10 inches over parts of Guatemala and southern Mexico. The rain threatened to cause flash floods and mudslides.

Forecasters say Matthew has maximum sustained winds of about 30 mph (45 kph), and is expected to continue losing strength. The storm's center was located about 85 miles (135 kph) southeast of Villahermosa, Mexico, early Sunday.

--snip--

In recent months, Guatemala has been hit by heavy rains that have resulted in about 274 deaths and about $1.1 billion in damage, according to government estimates.
Matthew was originally forecast to pass across Central America and re-emerge in the Gulf of Mexico and strengthen to hurricane status. Since the storm made landfall much futher south than ariginally forecast, the storm has been slowed significantly due to the moutainous terrain. It appears very unlikely that Matthew will have enough strength or forward motion to be able to survive as a storm and reach any water to allow restrengthening.

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