At 5 AM EDT Saturday, Tropical Storm SANDY was centered 165 miles north of Great Abaco Island, Bahamas. Peak winds were 75 mph. The storm was moving towards the north northeast at 10 mph.

As SANDY moved northward over the Bahama islands, dry air was drawn into it. Rainfall along the Florida east coast diminished and moved farther offshore, and peak winds over the state were mainly in gusts of 20 to 30 mph. Swells from Hurricane SANDY will continue to cause heavy surf and dangerous rip currents along our beaches. An overhanging high overcast outflow from SANDY will keep our skies cloudy most of Saturday and won’t completely clear until a cold front moves through on Sunday.

As we turn our attention to the track of SANDY and its transformation to a severe post-tropical storm threatening the middle Atlantic states, we are reminded of the lesson we learned last year from IRENE. The location of the storm’s center can be a distraction from more significant dangerous conditions away from the center. Such things as coastal storm surges and severe flooding in river basins are best addressed by local Emergency Operations Centers who work in cooperation with National Weather Service Offices and the National Hurricane Center.

The highest winds as of midnight over Florida occurred around 8 PM Friday when a band of rain squalls brought wind gusts up to 71 mph at Sanford and 49 mph at Daytona Beach. For the remainder of the night highest winds over Florida were 20 to 40 mph. Most of SANDY’s rains were just offshore from northeast Florida and skies have been gradually clearing before daybreak this morning. Other than the rough surf and dangerous rip currents along our beaches, it looks like a nnice day for the First Coast.



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