WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Sandy continues to be a strong hurricane, and appears unphased after passing over Cuba overnight. The category 2 storm now moves onto the Bahamas, where it will lash them with high winds and driving rains.
Once the system gets north of there, it will begin to slow down a bit and eventually take a turn out to sea. This is a guiding influence from an approaching cold front that will be nearing the area tomorrow. This front will keep the center of Sandy just off the NC coast by a few hundred miles. All models are currently showing this trend, and history supports this trend as well.
While this may sound like a large distance, keep in mind that Sandy is a large storm and will be expanding in size as it heads north. That means even with Sandy being well offshore Saturday and Sunday, we can still expect to experience some of the rain bands from this system and blustery winds that could regularly gust over tropical storm force at times.
- Potentially heavy, tropical rains anytime Saturday and Sunday. Rainfall as little as <1" to as much as 3". Heaviest at the coast
- Sustained winds of 20-30 mph, with regular gusts over tropical storm force at the coast.
- Heavy marine effects in high surf, rip currents, and possible beach erosion.
Keep in mind these effects can greatly change with only a few miles difference in storm track, and while we don’t expect the storm to come closer, our effects would be worse if it did. The best thing you can do now is just make sure you’re ready for a rainy/windy weekend with high marine effects of pounding surf and higher than normal tides. Keep yourself in tune with our forecast at this point as we learn more about the storm.
No matter what happens, we will find high surf, high astronomical tides, possible beach erosion, and dangerous rip currents at the beaches beginning Friday and lasting until Monday.
– Meteorologist Tim Buckley