Matthew weakens, threat to Cayman lessens

As of 1pm local time Saturday, the tropical weather system known as Matthew had weakened significantly and storm models showed less of a threat to the Western Caribbean from the system. 

Just after noon Saturday, Tropical Depression Matthew came ashore in Belize with maximum sustained winds of 35 miles per hour. The storm continued to move west, north-west at a healthy clip of 14 miles per hour. 

Overnight Friday and into Saturday morning, a relatively weak, but rain-packed Tropical Storm Matthew drenched the northern coast of Honduras as it progressed steadily westward through Central America. 

The storm made its expected turn to the west, north-west late Friday and looked to be headed out over open water just prior to striking Belize and Guatemala. 

As of Saturday afternoon, all but one of the major forecast models showed Matthew moving into inland Central America and southern Mexico in the next 24 to 48 hours and weakening to a tropical depression. 

Some forecast models expected the storm, or the remnants of it, to stay around the south-western Caribbean and possibly form another tropical disturbance in the middle of next week. 

One track had the system getting into the southern Gulf of Mexico and heading up toward western Florida by next week. 

As a Tropical Storm, Matthew made his first landfall in Nicaragua near the Honduran border Friday afternoon, earlier than expected.

Earlier predictions had Matthew becoming a hurricane before hitting Central America, but the storm had not strengthened significantly since Thursday night and came ashore as a medium strength tropical storm – with maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour.  

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