Updated 10/25/2012 10:46 AM
Coastal NC makes storm preps as Hurricane Sandy churns toward Florida
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MIAMI -- Hurricane Sandy made landfall in Cuba early Thursday morning. The storm is already blamed for at least two deaths, one in Jamaica and another in Haiti.
Sandy brought heavy rains and strong winds to Jamaica Wednesday. Experts say the storm will begin to brush Florida Friday morning. Tropical storm warnings and watches are in effect for parts of the southeastern coast of Florida and the Keys.
Sandy will eventually move just off the coast of the Carolinas by this weekend. While the center of Sandy will stay off the North Carolina coast, the storm will still impact parts of the state especially eastern North Carolina. Increasing cloudiness is expected Friday ahead of the storm. Light rain showers are possible near the coast, but widespread and heavier rain will move inland Saturday.
Coastal North Carolina can expect 1 to 3 inches of rain Saturday into early Sunday with somewhat higher totals possible along the Outer Banks. There will be a sharp cut off in the area of widespread rain. Locations west of Raleigh and Fayetteville may see very little if any rain.
Windy weather is forecast for the weekend as well. 40 to 50mph gusts are possible along the immediate coast. Farther inland, gusts of 25 to 30mph are expected in the Triangle and Sandhills. It will remain quite breezy into early next week as Sandy transitions into a Nor'easter. While the storm is expected to cause headaches in the northeastern United States, inland parts of North Carolina could have stronger winds early next week compared to the weekend.
We'll have more on the storm's projected path coming up in your Weather on the Ones tropical update at :21 and :51 past the hour.