Uncertainty as Forecast Shifts Away From Long Island

National Hurricane Center

The center of Hurricane Sandy is expected to strike the Mid-Atlantic states on Sunday. That's the good news for eastern Long Island. The bad news is two-fold: One, at this point the storm's track can only reliably be estimated through Saturday evening, and because forecasters expect Sandy to get larger, storm-force winds and huge surf will affect this area no matter what.

Without question, residents, especially those who live on the shore or still have boats in the water, should begin preparations for a bad storm.

A glance at the map on this page from the National Hurricane Center early Friday morning underscores the uncertainty. Despite the prediction about Sandy's path, forecasters can only at this point offer a 5-to-10-percent probability of where hurricane-force winds will strike.

Angela Fritz of Weatherunderground.com wrote on her blog late Thursday that Sandy is a huge system and is expected to widen in the coming days, with "gale-force winds extending up to 300 miles from its center. This increases the probability of storm surge extending far from the center of the storm, which, combined with the timing of a full moon tide, is a big concern, along with freshwater and river flooding from heavy, extended periods of rain."