Matthew formed from a tropical wave that pushed off the African coast in late September. That tropical wave was dubbed Invest 97L just southwest of the Cape Verde Islands on Sept. 25.
Matthew's track history.
It took a few days for that system to organize as it moved westward in the Atlantic. About three days later, however, the system gained sufficient organization to be named Tropical Storm Matthew near the Windward Islands.
Once Matthew reached the eastern Caribbean, it became a hurricane and rapidly intensified. Its peak intensity was late Sept. 30 into early Oct. 1 when it reached Category 5 strength with 160 mph winds.
Matthew then made landfall in Haiti and eastern Cuba on Oct. 4 as a Category 4.
From there, Matthew hammered the Bahamas Oct. 5-6 as a Category 3 and 4 hurricane.
The southeastern United States was then hit hard by Hurricane Matthew as it moved very close to the coasts of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Matthew made one official U.S. landfall on Oct. 8 southeast of McClellanville, South Carolina, as a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds.