State: Sandy might be strengthening

Forecast as of 11AM Sunday.

SUNDAY, NOON – The center of Hurricane Sandy was 250 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., at 11 a.m. Sandy has maximum sustained winds of 75 MPH and is moving to the northeast at 14 mph. Sandy is currently a Category 1 hurricane. The central pressure for Sandy is beginning to fall indicating that the storm may be strengthening, according to the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.

The National Hurricane Center is forecasting that Sandy will continue in a generally northeast direction for the next 12 hours as the storm moves out over open water off the East Coast. Sandy is forecast to move to a position approximately 225 miles east of Cape Hatteras, N.C. by 2 a.m. Monday, according to the state. Sandy is then forecast to intensify and grow in size as the storm interacts with an approaching winter type storm system.

Sandy is forecast to move Northwest to a position near the mid coast of New Jersey by midnight Monday.

“Sandy is expected to be a very large and extremely dangerous hybrid when the storm arrives Sunday night and Monday,” according to the state. “Hybrid storms do not act like hurricanes and do not weaken over cold waters.”

The National Weather Service has issued high wind warnings for the potential of very strong winds sustained at 40-60 mph and gusting to 60-80 mph along the coast and in the higher elevations at times. Coastal flood warnings have been issued for the potential for major to record coastal flooding. The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection continue to monitor the latest forecasts and will issue another update on Sandy at 2:30 this afternoon.

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