MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Coastal South Florida and parts of the Florida Keys are now under a Tropical Storm Warning as Hurricane Sandy’s eye begins toward the southeast coast of Cuba.
As of 11 p.m., Sandy was located 85 miles southwest of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Maximum sustained winds were 90 mph, with higher gusts. Sandy was moving north at 13 mph.
Forecasters predict Sandy will become a Category 2 hurricane before it makes landfall in Cuba.
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the Central, Northwestern, and Ragged Islands in Southeastern Bahamas, Jamaica and the Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Las Tunas, Granma, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin and Guantanamo.
A Hurricane Watch is still in effect for the central and northwest Bahamas.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the east coast of Florida from Ocean Reef to Sebastian Inlet, Haiti and the Central and Northwestern and Southeastern Bahamas.
A Tropical Storm Watch is now in effect further north along Florida’s east coast to Flagler Beach. The watch continues for the southern Bahamas and the Upper Florida Keys from Ocean Reef to Craig Key and Florida Bay.
The National Hurricane Center forecasts that Sandy will move near or over eastern Cuba Wednesday night and Thursday morning, then approach the central Bahamas on Thursday.
Beyond Thursday, forecasts suggest Sandy might expand in size. If that happens, the storm’s strong winds would affect areas farther away from the center. Such a scenario would put coastal South Florida in the area of tropical-storm-force winds Thursday night and Friday. Stay tuned to CBS 4 weather forecasts and CBSMiami.com for updates.
Sandy is expected to produce total rainfall amounts of 6 to 12 inches across Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Eastern Cuba. Some areas could see up to 20 inches of rain. These rains may produce life threatening flash floods and mudslides.