After sweeping across Jamaica, the northeast of Cuba and then the Bahamas, Hurricane Sandy is expected to hit the East Coast of the United States and make landfall near New York before moving on to the Canadian Maritime Provinces.
Dubbed “Frankenstorm” by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecaster Jim Cisco, Hurricane Sandy, now a Category 1 storm, is predicted to turn into an "extra-tropical cyclone.” The hurricane is expected to strike a broad region with 50 mph winds and rain which by next week will wreak havoc on the coast with tropical storm winds.
Forecasters have said that up to ten inches of rain could hit the East Coast next week, but warned that the track could still change as much as 200 miles.
According to ABC News, Dr. Louis Uccellini, director of NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Prediction, said, "This storm has—it certainly has the potential to stand on its own. We are dealing with categories we don't normally see here."
Moreover, Uccellini said that it’s still early to predict which area is going to get hit and how hard as Hurricane Sandy barrels towards the East Coast just in time for Halloween. He explained that the storm shares some characteristics with the so-called "perfect storm" of 1991 that caused coastal flooding, leaving 13 dead in its wake.
He said, "There will be significant surge with this as the storm moves from the southeast to the northwest towards the coastline, and that's going to become a very important part of the forecast for us as we near this event at the beginning part of the week.”
Hurricane Sandy hit Jamaica, leaving one dead, and moved across the northeast of Cuba, near Santiago and then the Bahamas, killing 21. Forecasters have said there is a 90 percent chance that on Monday New York City and northern regions in the eastern strip will take a direct hit as Sandy turns into a winter storm hybrid.
Accuweather's Bernie Rayno warned, "This is not being overhyped. I would use the terms ‘devastating’ and ‘historic.’ A one-in-30-year storm, or even in the fact the way this storm is going to be tracking east toward the coastline in New Jersey, it could be a once-in-a-lifetime storm."
James Franklin, with the NHC, told ABC News, "Compared to [Hurricane] Irene, we're going to see much broader surge impacts. The surge impacts for Irene were fairly tightly focused. This is going to be a broader event.”
Forecasters say the storm could linger for five or six days and could cause coastal flooding after bringing in up to six inches of rain with 80 mph wind gusts.