Category 2 Sandy Moving Off of Cuba, Still Strong [Updated 4am]

4am Update:

Still a category 2 storm, the center of Hurricane Sandy is just hours away from moving off of the Northeastern coast of Cuba. Sustained winds in the storm are 105 miles per hour. It is moving even faster now, tracking just about due north at 18 miles per hour.

12:45am Update:

According to reports from an Air Force Reserve Reconnaissance Aircraft, Hurricane Sandy—a category 2 storm—made landfall on the southeastern coast of the Caribbean nation of Cuba early Thursday morning, just before 1:30am Eastern Time.

12:20am Update:

As predicted by the National Hurricane Center, Sandy has strengthened to become a category 2 hurricane. In the 12:30am Eastern Advisory, the storm was now producing strong, damaging winds of 110 miles per hour, just 30 miles to the south of Santiago de Cuba. These reports come from a Air Force Reserve Reconaissance flight. Forecasters also stress that it could become even stronger.

Stay with News 4 and WTVY.com for the latest Tropical developments.

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As of 11pm Eastern Time, Hurricane Sandy was approaching the Southeastern Coast of Cuba.

Hurricane Warnings are in effect for Jamaica, numerous Cuban provinces and parts of the Bahamas. Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for Haiti, the Florida East Coast from Ocean Reef to the Sebastian Inlet and Lake Okeechobee. Tropical Storm Watches include other parts of Florida.

The storm has picked up speed since Tuesday and is moving to the north at 13 miles per hour. It is expected to continue moving northward today.

As of the most recent advisory, the storm was packing sustained winds of 90 miles per hour. However, forecasters with the National Hurricane Center note that more strengthening could be possible, bringing the storm to Category 2 strength by Thursday. The Hurricane-force winds extend up to 30 miles from the center of Sandy, the Tropical Storm-force winds up to 140 miles outward.

These winds, in addition to dangerous surf and waves, flooding rain and the threat of isolated tornadoes will come to Cuba, Jamaica, and the Bahamas. There could be some effects, of a lesser nature, for the far southeastern Florida coast.

Stay with News 4 and WTVY.com for the latest Tropical developments.


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