TS Sandy getting stronger, moving toward Jamaica

12:41 PM, Oct 23, 2012   |    comments
(NOAA/NHC)
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(WXIA) -- Tropical Storm Sandy could bring heavy rain and stormy conditions to this weekend's Georgia-Florida football game in Jacksonville.

As of the 11 a.m. advisory Tuesday, Sandy is centered 300 miles south-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, moving to the north-northeast at 5 mph. Maximum sustained winds on Sandy have picked up, getting to 50 mph. The minimum central pressure is down to 993 millibars.

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A Hurricane Warning has been issued for the island of Jamaica, and a Hurricane Watch has been issued for the Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Las Tunas, Granma, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin and Guantanamo. A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the central and southeastern Bahamas, and for Haiti.

Sandy is expected to continue to strengthen, and may become a minimal category one hurricane before making landfall in Jamaica on Wednesday. Forecasters said that as the storm moves across Jamaica it will weaken back to a tropical storm before it crosses Cuba, and continues to move northward, paralleling the Florida coast. However, it will remain offshore as it goes through the Bahamas. Eventually, Sandy is expected to turn northeastward, keeping it away from the US mainland.

Winds and rains from Sandy may affect parts of the Atlantic coastal regions of Florida and Georgia late in the week, which could add that element to conditions around Saturday's annual matchup between the Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs in Jacksonville.

With the storm so close to the Florida coast, East Coast interests, as well as people in or near the path of the storm are advised to pay close attention to any weather statements or warnings.

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