Hurricane Sandy has put Central Florida on alert. Though the storm is not expected to directly hit Florida, the coast has already begun feeling its impact.  Wednesday, Sandy made landfall over Cuba and Jamaica.  Cuban state media announced 11 deaths from the hurricane.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from Flagler Beach south. A tropical storm watch is in effect from north of Flagler Beach to Fernandina Beach.

Sandy is forecast to move north-northeastward over the next few days. As it moves into the Bahamas, strong onshore winds for the Florida coastline, with gusts to 50 mph and higher along the coast are expected.

Even though direct impacts are not anticipated across interior Central Florida, these strong onshore winds will cause dangerous boating and surf conditions, along with major beach erosion and extremely dangerous surf conditions, including strong rip currents.

By the weekend, Sandy will be moving well away from the coastline, as our next cold front moves into the area. Drier and less windy conditions return at this time.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic Basin, Tony was downgraded in the open Atlantic.


Tropical Storm Sandy Advisory

2 a.m. -- Sandy expected to move near Great Abaco Island in the northwestern Bahamas.

Changes with this advisory

The government of the Bahamas has changed the Hurricane Warning to a Tropical Storm Warning for Andros Island.

Watches and Warnings

Hurricane Warning is in effect for:

- The Northwestern Bahamas, except Andros Island

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.

Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

- The Central Bahamas
- Florida East Coast from Ocean Reef to Flagler Beach
- Lake Okeechobee
- Andros Island in the northwestern Bahamas

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area, in this case within 24 to 36 hours.

Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

- Florida East Coast from north of Flagler Beach to Fernandina Beach
- Florida Upper Keys from Ocean Reef to Craig Key
- Florida Bay

A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

Interests elsewhere along the East Coast of the United States should monitor the progress of Sandy.

Discussion and 48-hour Outlook

At 2 a.m. EDT, the center of Hurricane Sandy was located near latitude 25.8 north, longitude 76.5 west.

Sandy is now moving toward the north-northwest near 13 mph. A turn toward the northwest and a decrease in forward speed are expected overnight and Friday, followed by a turn back toward the north and northeast Friday night and Saturday. On the forecast track, the center of Sandy will continue moving near or over the northwestern Bahamas overnight and Friday.

Data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter Aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 85 mph with higher gusts. Sandy is a category one hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale. Some additional weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, but Sandy is expected to remain a hurricane for the next couple of days.

Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 275 miles. Sandy is expected to grow in size during the next couple of days. A NOAA Automated Station at Settlement Point on grand Bahama Island recently reported a 2-minute wind of 45 mph, and a wind gust of 56 mph.

The latest minimum central pressure based on data from the aircraft data is 968 mb, or 28.58 inches.

Hazards Affecting Land

Wind: Hurricane conditions will continue spreading across the northwestern Bahamas overnight and Friday. Tropical storm conditions are expected to spread northward in the warning area along the East Coast of Florida overnight through Friday. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area Friday through Saturday.
Rainfall: Sandy is expected to produce total rainfall amounts of 6 to 12 inches across Haiti and the Dominican Republic, with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches possible. These rains may produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides, especially in areas of mountainous terrain. Rainfall totals of 3 to 6 inches are expected over portions of the Bahamas, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches possible. 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.
Storm surge: 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 the following depths above ground if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide.

- Hurricane Warning area in the Bahamas: 5 to 8 feet
- Florida coast within warning area: 1 to 3 feet.

Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances. Water levels will begin to subside in Cuba and Jamaica this afternoon.

Next Advisory

Complete advisory: 5 a.m.


Post-Tropical Cyclone Tony Advisory

5 p.m. - Tony becomes a post-tropical cyclone.

Watches and Warnings

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

Discussion and 48-hour Outlook

At 5 p.m., the center of Post-Tropical Cyclone Tony was located near latitude 31.2 north, longitude 34.0 west.
Tony is moving toward the east-northeast near 22 mph.
Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts.  Gradual weakening should occur during the next day or so. Post-Tropical Cyclone Tony should be absorbed by a larger low pressure system over the northeastern Atlantic on Saturday.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center.
The estimated minimum central pressure is 1001 mb or 29.56 inches.

Hazards Affecting Land


Next Advisory

Complete advisory: This is the last public advisory issued by the National Hurricane Center on Tony.