The National Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane warning for Pensacolas, Florida, after Hurricane Matthew passed through the area early Sunday morning.
The center says Matthew could dump up to 4 inches of rain in parts of the state.
It will likely be the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic basin this season.
Matthew was moving at a very slow pace, which makes it hard to forecast how much rain will fall, said Mark Lutz, director of hurricane forecasts at the center.
“Matthew is a very powerful hurricane,” Lutz said.
Matthew could be the worst Atlantic hurricane to hit Florida in decades, according to meteorologists.
It’s forecast to make landfall somewhere between the Florida Keys and Florida Bayou, which has a coastline that stretches from Florida’s southern tip to its northern edge.
The storm is expected to bring wind gusts of up to 100 mph to the area.
Matthew will likely produce winds of 75 mph and rainfall amounts of 3 inches, according the National Hurricane Centre.
Matthew is expected on Saturday to be a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph.
The Florida Keys are under mandatory evacuation orders for Palm Beach County and Broward County.
The area around the Keys is a popular tourist destination for families.
The evacuation orders also include Broward.
Officials say the storm could affect thousands of businesses in the Keys.
More than 1,000 schools in the region are closed.
Schools in the state’s major cities and some of its smaller towns will also be closed, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity said.
It says some schools are expected to remain closed on Sunday.
The state is also expecting more than 1 million visitors to the Florida resort state.
The weather service has said Matthew could produce as much as 1.8 inches of rainfall over the next three days.
The storms’ winds are expected on Sunday to hit parts of Florida and Georgia.
Matthew also could make landfall on Sunday morning in Florida.
Matthew’s path will be very swift, making it difficult to forecast the storm’s path and speed, said Lutz.
The hurricane center said the storm is likely to bring heavy rain to the Carolinas.
Matthew has made landfall in Florida and Florida’s southeastern tip, the National Weather Service said.
A hurricane watch has been issued for portions of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.
Matthew, which was about 1,500 miles east of Jacksonville, was moving northwest at about 35 mph.
Matthew hit Florida early Sunday with winds of 65 mph.
It was forecast to move southward into Georgia and into southern North Carolina, according a National Hurricane Centers advisory.
Matthew may also make landfall in southern South Carolina, the center said.
The tropical storm has maximum sustained wind speeds of about 125 mph.
More: Matthew is a Category 4 hurricane, which means it has sustained winds at least 125 mph that could cause significant damage, according as the hurricane center.
The National Weather Services Hurricane Center also has Matthew listed as a Category 2 storm.
It is one of several storms that could affect Florida this weekend, the Weather Service says.
The U.S. National Hurricane Council issued a tropical outlook for the state, with a low likelihood of severe or catastrophic flooding, heavy rain and wind gusty winds.
It said Matthew’s center is located about 30 miles west of Jacksonville.
The council says the storm will be moving north-northwest over Florida by Sunday morning, and is expected within 5 to 10 hours of arriving in the Florida Gulf Coast.
Matthew should move toward Florida by Monday afternoon, the weather service said.
Weather warnings have been issued across Florida and into the Carolina and Atlantic Coast.
Florida’s governor has declared a state of emergency for the entire state and issued a temporary curfew.
Officials also ordered mandatory evacuations in some parts of Georgia and South Carolina.
There are also mandatory evacuation notices in places along the eastern coast.