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Saturday Afternoon Update: Hurricane Sandy to Bring 60 mph Winds, Heavy Rain Monday and Tuesday

Rivers could continue to flood Wednesday through Friday, National Weather Service warns.

Update 12:30 p.m. Saturday - Hurricane Sandy briefly diminished Saturday morning and turned into a tropical storm, but the storm has since picked up speed and is a hurricane once again.

"These subtle upward and downward status changes make no difference in the major, widespread impacts we expect in the next few days," The Weather Channel reported.

Tropical storm-force winds are already hitting the North Carolina coast as Hurricane Sandy moves north-northeast at 9 mph from its current location more than 300 miles southeast of Charleston, S.C. Sustained winds are at 75 mph with higher gusts.

Clouds will increase throughout the afternoon Saturday and scattered showers may start around 1 a.m. Sunday. The weather during the Marine Corps Marathon Sunday morning will be cloudy with scattered showers, temperatures in the mid-50s and wind from the north at 10 to 20 mph.

Temperatures Sunday will remain in the 50s as the rain and wind both intensify. 

Gov. Bob McDonnell will be speaking to the media at 1 p.m. today about storm preparations being taken by the Commonwealth. Virginia, D.C. and Maryland officials all declared states of emergency Friday. 

As is to be expected ahead of strong storms, many grocery stores are running low on water, batteries and ice. 

The City of Alexandria has asked its residents not to rake leaves to the curb ahead of this storm, as those leaves could block storm drains. 

Verizon, which experienced massive 911 outages following the June 29 derecho, says it is ready for this storm. 

For complete storm coverage, including preparation tips and more, go to the news tab above and click on our Hurricane Sandy section.  Also follow Northern Virginia Patch Weather on Facebook.

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Original Post - 5:30 a.m. Saturday

Although Hurricane Sandy is likely to weaken into a tropical storm Saturday as it tracks north, forecasters continue to warn that the hurricane hybrid dubbed "Frankenstorm" will deliver a serious punch to Northern Virginia, the District and Maryland as it moves through the area in the coming days.

The hurricane appears to be starting to morph into the much-discussed combined weather system.

"Sandy is showing characteristics of a hybrid cyclone," the National Weather Service noted in its Friday night discussion of the storm posted on its Web site.  "That means it has some attributes of a hurricane and some of a nor’easter," the Capital Weather Gang explained in its blog.

Early Saturday morning the hurricane was located about 375 miles south/southeast of Charleston, with winds blowing at 75 miles per hour as it continues its trek north at about 7 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service. A turn to the northeast is expected Saturday night or Sunday.

Hurricane-force winds extend out 70 miles from the eye of the storm and tropical storm-force winds extend out 435 miles, according to the National Weather Service.

WJLA's meteorologist Bob Ryan explained it this way on the station's weather blog that as the storm continues to move north, "It will interact with a strong wave in the jet stream and then almost go through a 'metamorphosis' from a weak tropical storm into a monster more classic East Coast winter-like coastal storm."  

Gov. Bob McDonnell wasn't taking any chances with potential damage the storm could bring to Virginia. He declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm on Friday.

Rain, Wind to Begin Sunday Night

Starting Saturday, the likely scenario will see winds start to pick up speed in Northern Virginia with 20 mile-per-hour gusts Saturday ramping up to 30 to 35 miles-per-hour Sunday and then 50 to 60 miles per hour on Monday and Tuesday, forecasters say.

If predictions hold Northern Virginia will see the heaviest rain beginning Sunday night, forecasters say, continuing off and on until it tapers off on Wednesday, with several inches of rain before it is over.

Monday and Tuesday will see strong winds up to 60 miles per hour, heavy rain and likely highs of about 50 degrees, forecasters predict.

Rivers could see continued flooding Wednesday through Friday, the National Weather Service warned.

NBC-4 meteorologist Tom Kiernein notes on the station's weather team Facebook page that strongest winds may come Tuesday morning.

For complete coverage of Hurricane Sandy, go the news menu above and click on our Hurricane Sandy special section.

Brittany K October 27, 2012 at 01:18 PM
Will everyone be okay? My father & brother live in Maryland. I just moved to Alabama 6 months ago..
Mary Ann Barton (Editor) October 27, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Brittany you might be able to keep up with what's going on in Maryland by following one of our Maryland sites closest to where they live; just go to www.patch.com and click on "Maryland" and a list of towns will show up there.
nita moccia October 27, 2012 at 02:41 PM
i am new to Front Royal via Nothern vermont....will we be ok here??? I know VT is going to get slammed hard...............
Mary Ann Barton (Editor) October 27, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Nita you can get a forecast specific to your area on the National Weather Service Web site by plugging in your ZIP code here: http://forecast.weather.gov/zipcity.php
Stella McEnearny October 27, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Kudos on the most solid, detailed forecast I've seen yet! Everything else I've read, heard, or watched amounted to little more than casual coin-flipping. You did a great job of bringing us the details.
Lauren Jost October 27, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Thanks for the compliment, Stella!
Sharon G October 27, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Do you know what the airline policies are? If someone is flying from a city not affected, do planes land fi there are heavy winds and rain? I see some airlines are waiving their change fees which makes me think they will cancel all travel to or from the east coast until Sandy leaves.
Mary Ann Barton (Editor) October 27, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Just a guess that each airline will have their own policy. We do have a bit of information here on Reagan National Airport: http://patch.com/A-yZ0D
ohaya October 27, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Does anyone know if we're suppose to get any snow with this in the Vienna/Northern Virginia area, or is it going to be high winds and heavy rain, but no snow? The forecasts that I've looked at all say the latter, but I keep hearing warnings of "up to 3 feet of snow".
Ivy Main October 27, 2012 at 06:56 PM
With plenty of time to prepare, no one should be buying bottled water and ice (unless you have no freezer). You can make ice yourself today by putting containers of water in the freezer, and fill soup pots and other containers with tap water. Leave the bottled water and ice for people who actually need it when the time comes.
Mary Ann Barton (Editor) October 27, 2012 at 07:44 PM
ohaya, I have not seen any forecasts mentioning snow in the Vienna area — only rain and wind. Gov. McDonnell said today that VDOT will have snowplows in place along the West Virginia border.
shauntelle goad October 28, 2012 at 12:31 AM
i live in fredericksburg va chances of severe are what also family in red bank n.j.
El October 28, 2012 at 01:03 AM
In Houston. we used to fill the bathtub with water for flushing and washing up. I talked to a friend there last night and she also suggested large trash bags (not kitchen garbage bags)with kitty litter for solid waste if needed. Oh, should I have said that? We'll have a run on kitty litter!
Lux October 28, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Since power outages are inevitable having a long run time flashlight is a good idea. Lowes has a 65 hour run time flashlight for under $5.00 http://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-Flashlight-Mod-Increases-Run-Time-36X/?allstep I got mine in store. I also got one at Target. More: http://armageddononline.org/forums/threads/34318-Cheap-long-run-time-flashlights Or go micro solar for under $50.00. http://www.instructables.com/id/Uses-For-Dead-Car-Batteries-And-Sealed-Lead-Acid-B/?allstep Emergency Led Lighting Made Ridiculously Simple: http://www.instructables.com/id/Emergency-Led-Lighting-Made-Ridiculously-Simple/?allstep
Joe Brenchick October 29, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Now that I have our generator all primed up and ready to go, that pretty much guarantees our power won’t go out!
tom dlode October 29, 2012 at 07:31 PM
We lost 2 generators due to theft in Falls Church City due to theft over the summer. Predators are looking and listening for you generators as we read this. Keep your eyes open.

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