(WXIA) - Tropical Storm Watches were posted for the southeast Florida coast Wednesday as Sandy became a category 1 hurricane. It is expected to hit Jamaica later in the day.
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As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, Hurricane Sandy was reported to be 65 miles south of Kingston, Jamaica, and about 235 miles to the south-southwest of Guantanamo, Cuba. Maximum sustained winds are at 80 mph, and the storm is moving to the north-northeast at 13 mph. Minimum central pressure is at 973 millibars.
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Jamaica and parts of eastern Cuba; a Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for Haiti and the central and northwest Bahamas. A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the central and northwest Bahamas and a Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the southeastern Bahamas and the Florida coast from the Volusia/Brevard County line to Ocean Reef, the Upper Keys from Ocean Reef to Craig Key, and for Florida Bay.
Hurricane Sandy's storm path is expected to keep it out to sea as it goes northward off the U.S. East Coast, but a number of computer models indicate the storm may come ashore in the New England states as a significant Nor'easter early next week.