The Jamaican government issued weather advisories Tuesday as Tropical Storm Sandy slogged several hundred miles off the island, forecasters said.
A hurricane watch and a tropical storm warning were posted for Jamaica as Sandy, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, was about 345 miles south-southwest of Kingston, moving north at 3 mph, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said in its 5 a.m. EDT advisory.
A tropical storm watch also is in effect for Haiti.
Sandy was expected to maintain a north-to-northeast motion with some increase in forward speed for the next couple of days, forecasters said. On its forecast track, the center of Sandy will move near or over Jamaica Wednesday and approach eastern Cuba Wednesday night.
Sandy is expected to reach hurricane strength when it approaches Jamaica Wednesday, the hurricane center said.
Tropical storm-force winds extended outward from Sandy's center up to 90 miles.
Sandy is expected to produce 5-10 inches of rain across Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and eastern Cuba, with isolated amounts of up to 16 inches possible. The rain may produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.
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