A sinister satellite photo of the storm appears to resemble a skull after it was posted by Weather Channel senior meteorologist Stu Ostro as it made landfall in Haiti. The image was not digitally manipulated in any way, Ostro confirmed.
The hurricane is viewed through an infrared camera lens, and colors have been added to accentuate the eye of the storm.
Matt Devitt at WINK News in Fort Myers, Florida, captured a different view of the same skull shape during a Tuesday weather report. He posted it on Facebook, where it has been shared more than 100,000 times.
Matthew, a Category 3 storm, is slated to strengthen back into a Category 4 as it passes over the Bahamas. It is expected to have 145 mph winds and heavy rain.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Matthew “will be devastating,” issuing a state of emergency for the state. A state of emergency was also declared in parts of Georgia and North Carolina as well as all of South Carolina, CBS News reported.
“People have less than 24 hours to prepare,” Scott warned on Wednesday, according to USA Today. “Having a plan could be the difference between life and death.” Scott advised coastal residents to stock up on three days’ worth of food, medicine, and water. Miami-Dade County schools also canceled classes for Thursday and Friday.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki R. Haley said some coastal areas will be evacuated starting at 3 p.m.
Tropical storm conditions are expected to reach portions of Florida by early Thursday and intensifying conditions later in the day, according to the National Hurricane Center.
As of Wednesday morning at 11 a.m., Matthew was about 100 miles south of Long Island on the Bahamas, the center said.