UPDATED: Hurricane Sandy No Longer a Tropical Storm

Sandy diminished in intensity last night but has picked up this morning.

Update, 8:20 a.m. Saturday: According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), Sandy has been upgraded again to a hurricane, just hours after being downgraded to a tropical storm. 

In its 8 a.m. bulletin, the NOAA reported an Air Force aircraft found hurricane-strength winds again.

Earlier, in its 5 a.m. bulletin, the NOAA issued warnings and watches to the Southeastern parts of the country, including Florida, but said those up the Eastern seaboard need to prepare for its impact. The storm is moving North-Northeast at 10 mph and an increase in intensity and speed possible tonight and Sunday, according to the NOAA.

Sandy is currently considered to be "very large," with winds extending as far as 450 miles from its center.

WHDH's Pete Bouchard posted to his blog about a call he had with the director of the National Center for Environmental Prediction, Louis Uccellini, and James Franklin, branch chief of the National Hurricane Center Louis Uccellini, yesterday afternoon. He said they seem confident of two things: Sandy will make landfall and that landfall will happen Monday night.

Bouchard said this morning if the storm loops farther offshore than expected, the chances of it hitting us in New England are higher.

Bouchard said it's not a panic-inducing storm, but offered preparation tips: "scattered power outages, a long-duration storm (from Monday through Tuesday night), 2-5 inches of rain (possible river flooding as a result) and coastal flooding and beach erosion."

More than 40 people have died in the Caribbean as a result of this storm.


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