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With the news of hurricane 'Matthew' showing up, and my holiday coming up soon I'm a little concerned. Here in Europe we don't have to deal with these types of things often so I'm a little lost on what to do.

What I need to know:

  • Should I be worrying about this? It's in 3 weeks and I'm going to Texas. Flying to IAH, travelling to Dallas, Austin, San Antonio. It'll take a while before it hits land, is it likely it'll be less bad by then?

  • What is a good source for hurricane tracking/news? I tend to find sites that are very unclear or just very 'media-ish', being very panic-y.

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    Matthew is not expected to have any real impact on Texas (which is some 1500km away, and itself slightly larger than France). In any event it will be over long before your journey. Oct 6, 2016 at 0:19
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    Tracking on this storm: nhc.noaa.gov/graphics_at4.shtml?5-daynl Note that it's not expected to go anywhere near Texas. Oct 6, 2016 at 20:27

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In my opinion (!) you should be fine. Yes there are alarming stories as you mention (eg) but these are offshore and, now it seems, the Florida coastline.

There are were minute by minute updates here.


Strength has dropped to Category 2 (~100mph wind) from Category 4 (~140 mph wind). The Express seems to have lost interest but at present The Weather Channel has news. The eye of the storm is approximately 1,200 miles from Texas and moving away.


Strength has dropped to Category 1 (~75mph wind) and Matthew is moving away from USA.


Weather (all types) warnings and watches here.

It is the nature of hurricanes in that area to dissipate in strength quite quickly once they move over land. There are no signs at present of any significant threat to Texas. The most to fear at present is I think flight disruption, but since not flying in through Miami for example I am confident the airlines would cope with minimum disturbance to passengers flying in to George Bush Intercontinental from abroad.

Anyway, in three weeks it will all be over (except for a mess offshore and probably parts of Florida).

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    Thank you, this was exactly the type of information I was looking for!
    – Summer
    Oct 5, 2016 at 11:47
  • The Express is not a reliable source of news.
    – vclaw
    Oct 6, 2016 at 4:17
  • One more site to keep an eye on: the National Hurricane Center: nhc.noaa.gov
    – Mark
    Oct 7, 2016 at 1:51
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The other answer mentioned how to track the hurricanes, so I only add the information what to do if you must expect to meet one.

Cyclones (meteorologically) have different names like hurricanes in the US/Caribbean and typhoons in East Asia, but they are all the same phenomenon.

The difference between an European storm and a cyclone is that cyclones are much more powerful. A very strong storm here in Europe is something like 130 km/h, but that is only a weak hurricane.

  • Find high ground. Three causes are responsible for storm flooding far beyond normal levels: The very low pressure in hurricanes (raising the sea level) together with extremely strong winds (very high waves) and extremely strong rain (it is several times stronger than even a thunderstorm downpour in Europe and very hard to describe properly) cause storm flooding far beyond normal levels. So leave the vicinity of the sea and try to find a proper shelter. Drowning and being flushed away are very real dangers.

  • Find shelter for the severe winds. The houses in hurricane/typhoon areas are reinforced, the people know normally how to prepare for hurricanes (nail wood planks over the windows). If you are secure of flooding, use the basement. If you have no basement, use the bathroom. The bathroom is the smallest room and has tubing which reinforces the walls and gives best protection. Be not surprised that the wind pressure is strong enough that rain sickers through the walls. Forget those advices of opening windows to equalize pressure, simply make your rooms as tight as possible.

  • BE AWARE OF THE CALM EYE !! I cannot believe this vital information is often left out. In contrast to normal European storms cyclones have the "eye of the storm", a small and very calm center which has often open sky, but it is also surrounded by the most intense winds. People hear the storm howling and suddenly very rapidly the storm is calming down. They think the storm is over and go out when in reality they are in the eye. The back section now surprises them in full force, often killing them. So hurricanes are quieting down over hours, not minutes. If it stops, it is not over, it is simply the eye, DO NOT LEAVE COVER.

  • Be cautious after the storm. Very likely water is on the street, building rapid, but inconspicous torrents. Even if you are not swept away, shards and nails can cause injuries and infections. Transmission lines could be down and electrocute people. Be aware that very likely hospitals are operating as far as it will go because many people are injured, but the infrastructure is severely damaged. There could be looters looking for easy prey. Police and firefighters will be overworked; police or national guard could be trigger-happy if they suspect that you are out for looting.

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    @pnuts How exactly do you interpret "Looking for hurricane advice and sources" and "Here in Europe we don't have to deal with these types of things often so I'm a little lost on what to do." ? But thanks for the explanation. Oct 6, 2016 at 11:29
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    @pnuts Please remember that I (and others) do not look at the editing history before answering. And even then one bullet point in the original question was "What is a valuable source for hurricane info?" which refers to the title. And if I really understood the question wrong, then I have problems what exactly the "General advice about precautions" link is meant for in your answer. Please explain ? Oct 6, 2016 at 11:45

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