At 5:00 a.m. EDT,the center of Hurricane Sandy was located 15 miles east-southeast of Great Abaco Islands and/or 485 miles south-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina and moving toward the northwest at 13 mph. Maximum sustained winds has decreased to near 80 mph and a minimum central pressure of 968 Mb. A decrease in forward speed is expected today, followed by a turn toward the north tonight and a turn toward the northeast on Saturday. On the forecast track, the center of Sandy will continue moving near the northwestern Bahamas this morning and move north of the Bahamas tonight. Hurricane-force winds extend outward 35 miles from the center and tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 275 miles.
Sandy is a Category One hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. A little weakening is forecast today but Sandy is expected to remain a hurricane for the next couple of days. The wind field of Sandy is expected to grow in size during the next couple of days.
U.S. Watches and Warnings
There is a Tropical Storm Warning in effect for the Florida East Coast from Ocean Reef to Flagler Beach and Lake Okeechobee. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the Florida East Coast from north of Flagler Beach to Fernandina Beach, Florida Upper Keys from Ocean Reef to Craig Key and Florida Bay.
Hazards Affecting the United States
Tropical storm wind conditions are expected in the warning area along the East Coast of Florida today and tonight and are possible in the watch area Friday tonight and Saturday. Also, tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area in the Carolinas Saturday and Saturday night.
Rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches are possible across the Florida Keys into southeast and east-central Florida, with isolated maximum amounts of 6 inches possible. Also, rainfall totals of 4 to 8 inches are possible over far eastern North Carolina.
The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters. The water could reach 1 to 3 feet above ground if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide within the Florida Coast warning area.
Ready Campaign Hurricane Safety and Preparedness Tips
We urge residents and businesses in southeastern Florida and in other East Coast states along the storm’s projected path to monitor the progress of Hurricane Sandy.
While tropical storms are unpredictable, those in the possible path of the storm should be preparing. If you haven’t done so already, take the time now to put together a family emergency plan and emergency kit. Some of the items in a basic emergency kit include: one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation; at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food; battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio; flashlight and extra batteries; and First Aid kit. Having a kit can help you weather the storm.
Tropical weather can bring high winds and heavy rains, so listen to local officials and follow their instructions. Keep up to date with local conditions – follow TV and radio reports from your area, or visit www.weather.gov (http://mobile.weather.govon your phone) for the latest forecast.
Residents and businesses in southeast Florida and other East Coast states along the storm’s projected path should also familiarize themselves with the terms that are used to identify a severe weather hazard.
Terms used to describe tropical weather include the following:
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected, in this case, within 24 to 36 hours.
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, within 48 hours.
We urges coastal and inland residents to be familiar with flood and flash flood terminology and safety tips:
Driving through a flooded area can be extremely hazardous. Almost half of all flash flood deaths happen in vehicles. When in your car, look out for flooding in low lying areas, at bridges, and at highway dips. As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Remember – turn around, don’t drown.
Flood Watch: Flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if local officials give notice to evacuate, do so immediately.
Flash Flood Watch: Rapid rises on streams and rivers are possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
Flash Flood Warning: Rapid rises on streams and rivers are occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.
For additional information, tools and resources to prepare for any type of disaster, visit www.Ready.gov (or in Spanish at www.Listo.gov).