10:30 p.m. Sunday
Hurricane Sandy is currently creating tropical storm conditions along the North Carolina and Southeastern Virginia coasts.
According to the National Weather Service the large storm is now positioned about 290 miles east of Cape Hatteras, NC and about 470 miles south southeast of New York City.
Although the eye is expected to pass over New Jersey early Tuesday morning, the 100-mile-wide storm is forecast to begin impacting the Connecticut coast Monday morning with strong winds, heavy rains and coastal flooding that will likely last into Wednesday afternoon. Residents in low-lying areas prone to flooding are being asked to evacuate, particularly along the coast, as the storm is anticipated to produce tidal surges 5 to 11 feet above normal in Long Island Sound.
Since yesterday there has been very little change in the storm's intensity: Sandy continues to pack winds of up to 75 mph and is generating tropical force winds spreading as far as 520 miles from its center. Gale force winds are expected to arrive along portions of the mid-Atlantic coast later tonight and reach Long Island and Southern New England by Monday morning, a National Hurricane Center advisory states. Hurricane force winds could reach Long Island by late Monday, it states.
Of particular concern is the potential for coastal fooding, which is forecast to be severe in Long Island Sound due to the storm's arrival coincinding with a full moon. High tides for the Bridgeport area are scheduled for 11:29 a.m. and 11:58 p.m. Monday; and 12:07 p.m. Tuesday.
"The combination of an extremely dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters," the National Hurricane Center's advisory states.
In addition the storm is forecast to dump anywhere from five to 11 inches of rain on the region over the three-day period, resulting in inland flooding and exacerbating flooding in areas along the coast.
6:30 p.m. Sunday:
Hurricane Sandy is currently positioned about 270 miles east southeast of Cape Hatteras, NC and about 530 miles south southeast of New York City, according to the National Weather Service.
The storm continues to pack sustained winds of up to 75 miles per hour and is moving toward the northeast at about 15 miles per hour.
Sandy is expected to turn to the north later tonight and then turn to the west and head toward the New Jersey coastline Monday morning. Sandy will then collide with cold front coming from the north and will transition into a frontal or wintertime low pressure system prior to landfall, according to the Weather Service's National Hurricane Center.
"However this transition will not be accompanied by a weakening of the system... in fact a little strengthening is possible during this process," the National Hurricane Center reported as of 5 p.m. Sunday.
Currently hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles from the storm's center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 520 miles. As such the effects of the storm — including strong winds, tidal surge and heavy rain — are expected to be felt starting Monday morning, about 24 hours before the storm's center, or "eye" is expected to make landfall in New Jersey Tuesday.
Sandy is expected to weaken a Tropical Storm after she makes landfall, with sustained winds of 41 to 47 miles per hour and wind gusts of up to 65 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service
Tidal surge in Long Island Sound is currently forecast to rise 5 to 11 feet above normal, depending on location. Residents who live in low-lying areas the coast are being urged to evacuate.
10:30 a.m. Sunday:
Hurricane Sandy continues her course toward New England and is now lashing the North Carolina and Virginia coasts with high winds and tidal surge of more than 2.5 feet.
Still packing sustained winds of up to 75 miles per hour, the storm is forecast to continue to head north-northeast up the coast until Monday morning, when it will turn west and make landfall by early Tuesday morning, according to the National Weather Service's National Hurricane Center.
However due her 105-mile-wide span, Sandy is expected to start bringing strong winds and tidal surge to the Connecticut coast starting Monday morning.
Currently the storm's center is located 250 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras NC and about 575 miles south of New York City and it is moving north-northwest at about 14 miles per hour.
Sandy's effects expected to last two to three days after she makes landfall, collides with a cold front and then turns north again toward upsate New York.
Hurricane-force winds are expected along portions of the East Coast between Chincoteague Virginia and Chatham Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service. This includes the middle and upper Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay and the coasts of the Northern Delmarva Peninsula, New Jersey, the New York City area, Long Island, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
High tides for the Bridgeport area are scheduled for 10:50 a.m. and 11:17 p.m. Sunday; 11:29 a.m. and 11:58 p.m. Monday; and 12:07 p.m. Tuesday.
11:30 p.m. Saturday:
Hurricane Sandy is presently located about 360 miles east southeast of Charleston SC and about 305 miles south southeast of Cape Hatteras NC, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm continues to pack sustained winds of up to 75 miles per hour, and may intensify before it makes landfall early Tuesday morning.
"Satellite imagery shows that the central convection associated with Sandy has increased during the evening," states an 11 p.m. forecast on the National Hurricane Center's website. "In addition data from Air Force Reserve and NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that the circulation at 10,000-12,000 feet is stronger than 24 hours ago and there are indications of an inner wind maximum near the convection."
Despite the change in the storm's convection, there has been no corresponding increase in its overall strength.
6:30 p.m. Saturday:
The National Weather Service's National Hurricane Center is reporting that Hurricane Sandy is presently located about 335 miles east southeast of Charleston SC and about 345 miles south of Cape Hatteras NC.
The center of the 105-mile-wide storm is still expected to make landfall either in New Jersey or Delaware around 8 a.m. Tuesday, however it will impact a wide swath of the eastern seaboard, from Cape Hatteras, SC to Bangor, ME.
The storm, which lacks a well-defined eye, continues to pack sustained winds of up to 75 mph and has picked up some speed, now moving north across the Atlantic at about 13 mph.
Sandy is expected to turn northwest by Monday morning and collide with a colder air mass coming from the north which will cause it to increase in intensity as it makes landfall. A forecast on the National Weather Service's discussion page states that although there will be an increase in wind speeds as it hits the coast, "the cyclone is forecast to steadily weaken" after it makes landfall.
The storm's heavy rains, however, will likely bring flooding to New England for several days, as it is expected to "stall" over the Northeast as it collides with the colder air mass, according to the National Weather Service.
1:30 p.m. Saturday:
The National Weather Service's National Hurricane Center is reporting that Hurricane Sandy is moving slowly away from the Bahamas and Florida and that tropical force winds are now impacting the coast of North Carolina.
Currently the storm is packing sustained winds of up to 75 mph and is moving north across the Atlantic at about 9 mph
Presently the storm is located about 190 miles north-north-east of Great Abaco Island, SC, and about 355 miles southeast of Charleston, SC. It is expected to make landfall either in New Jersey or Delaware around 8 a.m. Tuesday, however it is expected to impact a wide swath of the eastern seaboard, from Cape Hatteras, SC to Bangor, ME.
The 105-mile-wide storm is expected to start impacting the Connecticut coast starting around 8 a.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service. After she makes landfall on Tuesday morning, Sandy will then collide with a cold front coming from the north, producing up to a foot of rain over the two-day period and possibly snow in the inland areas, according to the National Weather Service.
Tidal surge is expected to be 1 to 1.5 feet higher than normal on Monday and 2 to 3 feet above normal on Tuesday as the storm passes through the region. Widespread moderate to severe flooding is anticipated.
A full moon nearly coinciding with Sandy's arrival could mean even stronger tidal surge from the storm, the National Weather Service reports.