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Oct 25, 2012

Sandy Packs Punch as a Strong Category 2 Hurricane, Claims 2 Lives.




 The U.S. East Coast has a  chance of getting blasted by gale-force winds, flooding, heavy rain and maybe even snow at the beginning of the next week due to an unusual hybrid of hurricane and winter storm, federal and private forecasters declared.

Hurricane Sandy in the Caribbean, an early winter storm in the West and a blast of arctic air from the North can collide,   forecasters predict.

It is probably to hit during a full moon, when the tides are almost at their highest, increasing coastal flooding potential, NOAA forecasts  report. The trees are still leafy and there is a potential for snow and power outages, some meteorologists warn.

It is a combination of different storm types that could  generate a real whopper of weather problems, meteorologists  declared.

The  center's chief hurricane specialist, James Franklin,  declared the threat keeps increasing for "a major impact in the Northeast, New York area. In fact it would be such a big storm that it would affect all of the Northeast."

The biggest problem is the snow and that depends on where the remnants of Sandy turn inland. The computer model that has been leading the pack in predicting the hybrid storm has it hitting around Delaware or closer to Maine. If it hits Delaware, the chances of snow increase in that zone. If it hits farther north, chances for snow increase in the mid-Atlantic , Masters declared.

 Hurricane Sandy churned over eastern Cuba early Thursday having winds of 105 mph,the National Hurricane Center in Miami declared warning the residents living along the U.S. East Coast to be  careful this weekend. Sandy claimed a pair of lives before reaching Cuba. A woman in western Haiti's Camp-Perrin died Wednesday while she was  trying to cross a flooding river in the Ravine du Sud, Haitian news agency AHP reported .
 A man in Jamaica was killed ,according to CNN affiliate TV J.
 The wind has whipped the island  since Thursday morning. Some 70% of its residents are without power and almost 1,000 people are in shelters, TV J declared. Sandy has its sights set on the Bahamas ,too.
Hurricane warnings are in place for Jamaica, eastern Cuba,  the central and western Bahamas, along with Haiti and southeastern Florida.
Rainfall amounts could hit up to 12 inches . Sandy could make landfall somewhere between Maine and Virginia, bringing with it heavy rain, flooding, high winds and widespread power outages,Massachusetts Emergency Management reported.

Fort Lauderdale's Ocean Rescue told beach goers to stay out of the ocean.

 The storm can shadow the east coast of the US in the coming days and  can "potentially transition over the weekend into a powerful nor'easter",the National Hurricane Center reported.

 The effects of the tropical cyclone can span many hundreds of miles from the center, the area experiencing the hurricane force  because the wind speeds of at least 74 mph , while Sandy is moving between the northeast coast of Cuba and the central
Bahamas...

 The Hurricane Warning is in effect for Cuban provinces of Camaguey,Las Tunas,Granma,Santiago de Cuba,Holguin and Guantanamo,the Ragged Islands in the southeastern Bahamas,
the central and the northwestern Bahamas.Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.

The Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Haiti,Florida East Coast from Ocean Reef to Flagler Beach,Lake Okeechobee
and the remainder of the southeastern Bahamas. The tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area  within 24 to 36 hours.

At 800 am EDT...1200 UTC...the center of Hurricane Sandy was located by an Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft at latitude 21.6 north and longitude 75.5 west. Sandy is moving toward the north having18 mph-30 km/h-and this general motion is expected to continue today. A turn toward the north-northwest and a diminish in forward speed are expected tonight and Friday. The center of Sandy will move near or over the central Bahamas later today and tonight. It will move near or over the northwestern Bahamas on Friday.

Maximum sustained winds are almost 105 mph (165 km/h) with higher gusts. Sandy is a category two hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale, its gradual weakening  being forecast over the next 48 hours.  Probably ,Sandy remains a hurricane as it moves through the Bahamas.

Hurricane conditions can spread across the central and northwestern Bahamas later today through Friday,
while tropical storm is expected in the warning area along
the East Coast of Florida tonight and Friday.

Sandy is expected to produce total rainfall amounts of
6 to 12 inches across Haiti,the Dominican Republic and eastern
Cuba causing life-threatening flash floods and mud slides
especially in  zones of mountainous terrain.

The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the
tide will cause normally dry areas  along the coast to be flooded by rising waters.

The surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle.

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