Hurricane Sandy Update: New Watches and Warnings Issued, Oct. 26, 2012 5 PM EDT

Miami, Florida—(ENEWSPF)—October 26, 2012 UPDATE 500 p.m. EDT

Changes in Watches and Warnings with this Advisory

The Tropical Storm Warning is extended northward along the Florida east coast to St. Augustine.

The Tropical Storm Warning for Lake Okeechobee is discontinued.

The Tropical Storm Watch is changed to a Tropical Storm Warning from south Santee River, South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina, including the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.

Summary of Watches and Warnings in Effect

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • Florida east coast from north of Deerfield Beach to St. Augustine  
  • South Santee River to Duck, including Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds  
  • Great Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

  • Savannah River to South Santee River  
  • Florida east coast from north of St. Augustine to Fernandina Beach  
  • Bermuda

In addition, gale watches have been issued for areas north of the Tropical Storm Warning area.  See statements from local National Weather Service Forecast Offices.

Interests elsewhere along the east coast of the United States should monitor the progress of Sandy.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area.

For storm information specific to your area in the United States, including possible inland watches and warnings, please monitor products issued by your local National Weather Service Forecast office. For storm information specific to your area outside the United States, please monitor products issued by your National Meteorological Service.

Discussion and 48-hour Outlook

At 500 p.m. EDT (2100 UTC), the center of Hurricane Sandy was located near latitude 27.3 north, longitude 77.1 west. Sandy is moving toward the north near 7 mph (11 km/h) and a general northward motion is expected to continue tonight, followed by a turn toward the north-northeast with an increase in forward speed on Saturday, and a turn toward the northeast on Sunday.  On the forecast track, the center of Sandy will be moving away from the northwestern Bahamas.

Maximum sustained winds are near 75 mph (120 km/h) with higher gusts.  Sandy is a category one hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  Some weakening is forecast during the next day or two.

Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 275 miles (445 km).  A NOAA Automated Station at Settlement Point on Grand Bahama Island recently reported sustained winds of 49 mph (80 km/h) with a gust to 63  mph (102 km/h).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 971 mb (28.67 inches).

Hazards Affecting Land

Wind. Tropical Storm conditions will continue in Great Abaco and Grand Bahama islands for the next few hours.  Tropical Storm conditions are expected to continue over the warning area along the east coast of Florida today and tonight.  Tropical Storm conditions are expected in the tropical storm warning area in the Carolinas Saturday and Saturday night.  Tropical Storm conditions are possible in the watch areas tonight through Saturday night.

Rainfall. Sandy is expected to produce total rainfall amounts of 6 to 12 inches across Haiti and the Dominican Republic, with isolated maximum totals of 20 inches possible.  These rains may produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides, especially in areas of mountainous terrain.  Additional rainfall accumulations of 1 to 2 inches are expected over portions of the Bahamas, with isolated maximum totals of 12 inches possible.  Additional rainfall accumulations of 1 to 2 inches are expected over portions of eastern Florida, with isolated maximum amounts of 6 inches possible. Rainfall totals of 4 to 8 inches are possible over far eastern North Carolina.

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, Bahamas within the warning area, 3 to 5 ft. Florida coast within warning area, 1 to 3 ft. North Carolina within the warning area, 3 to 5 ft. remainder of North Carolina and Virginia including lower Chesapeake Bay, 2 to 4 ft. surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances. Given the large wind field associated with Sandy, elevated water levels could span multiple tide cycles resulting in repeated periods of coastal and bayside flooding. For information specific to your area, please see products issued by your local weather office.

Surf. Dangerous surf conditions are occurring from Florida through the Carolinas and will continue for the next couple of days.

Surface Wind Field

Click image to zoom in – Download GIS data [Image of initial wind radii]
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Source: nhc.gov

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