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Matthew may make U-turn toward hard-hit areas of US, Caribbean on rare path

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After tracking along the southeastern United States, Matthew will threaten to twist back into the North Atlantic, bringing additional rain and wind to hard-hit areas of the coastline or Caribbean.

Strong steering winds make a path near the coastal Northeast common for hurricanes during October. Matthew, however, is predicted to take a less conventional track.

After moving parallel to the Carolina coast this weekend, the system will head back out to sea.

If Matthew turns out to sea on Sunday and not toward the northeastern United States, two scenarios are possible.

The first scenario would cause the system to stall off the southeastern U.S. coast.

"The reason for the potential stall or southerly turn is that steering winds are likely to weaken substantially," AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said.

The second scenario would send Matthew back toward the south or southwest next week.

This latter track would cause the storm to make a U-turn or large loop.

"Our current forecast represents a compromise of several possibilities," Kottlowski said.

This unusual track has the potential to bring rain, wind and rough surf back toward the Bahamas and areas that were hit hard not more than several days earlier.

If such a path unfolds, Matthew is likely to be less intense than the initial blow.

However, additional significant damage could occur if the initial storm surge, wind and rain damaged any area's protective defenses.

At the very least, rough surf, dangerous seas and beach erosion would continue along the coast of southeastern U.S. and the Bahamas into next week as Matthew lingers offshore.

Interests along the southeastern U.S. coast and the Bahamas should continue to closely monitor the track and strength of Matthew.