KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Jamaicans are bracing for sheets of rain, violent winds and a powerful storm surge as a strengthening Tropical Storm Sandy closes in.
Sandy is expected to dump at least 10 inches of rain in parts of Jamaica. The storm's outer bands have already brought intermittent showers to the Caribbean island.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami says Sandy is expected to become a hurricane as it nears Jamaica tomorrow, then travel over the island from south to north.
Jamaica's government has issued a hurricane warning and is warning people in flood-prone areas to be on alert.
Cuba has issued a hurricane watch for several provinces, including Guantanamo. Because of the storm, authorities at the U.S. base there are trying to condense the agenda for the military commission hearings that are going on.
Forecasters say hurricane conditions are possible in eastern Cuba by tomorrow night.
Late this morning, Sandy was centered about 300 miles south-southwest of Jamaica, moving north at about 5 mph. Its maximum sustained winds were near 50 mph.
Meanwhile, a tropical depression far out in the Atlantic is expected to become a tropical storm today. But it doesn't pose any threat to land.
136-a-10-(Daniel Brown, forecaster at the National Hurricane Center, in AP interview)-"or early Thursday"-Forecaster Daniel Brown says Tropical Storm Sandy is picking up strength in the Atlantic. (23 Oct 2012)
<<CUT *136 (10/23/12)>> 00:10 "or early Thursday"
137-a-12-(Daniel Brown, forecaster at the National Hurricane Center, in AP interview)-"of eastern Cuba"-Forecaster Daniel Brown says Tropical Storm Sandy is moving closer to Jamaica. (23 Oct 2012)
<<CUT *137 (10/23/12)>> 00:12 "of eastern Cuba"
138-a-11-(Daniel Brown, forecaster at the National Hurricane Center, in AP interview)-"toward the weekend"-Forecaster Daniel Brown says it's not clear yet if Sandy will be a threat to the U.S. (23 Oct 2012)
<<CUT *138 (10/23/12)>> 00:11 "toward the weekend"
APPHOTO NY4C: This NOAA satellite image taken Tuesday, October 23, 2012 at 01:45 AM EDT shows Tropical Storm Sandy well south of Jamaica nearly stationary. Max winds are 45 mph and with strengthening expect over the next 24 hours. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Jamaica and Haiti. Tropical Depression 19 has formed in the central Atlantic and is moving north at 9 mph. Max winds are 35 mph and some strengthening is expected over the next 24 hours. (AP PHOTO/WEATHER UNDERGROUND) (23 Oct 2012)
<<APPHOTO NY4C (10/23/12)>>