By Circles Robinson

HAVANA TIMES, Sept. 23 —Tropical Storm Matthew was named on Thursday afternoon as it churns in the central Caribbean en route towards Central America.  At 6:00 p.m. EST, Cuba weather experts spotted the center of the storm at 665 kilometers (450 miles) east of Cabo Gracias a Dios in northeastern Nicaragua.

The Cuban Meteorological Institute said the storm should gain in organization and intensity over the coming 12 hours while moving west at 26 kph (16 mph).  Far south of Cuba, TS Matthew was not listed as a threat to the island.  The Institute will issue another notice at 6:00 a.m. EST on Friday.

Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center in Miami has declared a Tropical Storm warning for northeastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras.  It is still uncertain whether Matthew will touch land or skirt the northern coast of those two countries on late Friday and early Saturday.

The NHC sees the storm entering Belize and/or the Mexican Yucatan as a hurricane, on Sunday to Tuesday.  It also shows a possibility of some rainfall reaching far north to the westernmost tip of Cuba.

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