Hurricane Sandy is moving toward the northeast. At some point, it is expected to become what’s known as an extratropical storm. Unlike a tropical system like a hurricane, which gets its power from warm ocean waters, extratropical systems are driven by temperature contrasts in the atmosphere. At some point, Sandy will strike the East Coast.
Although Sandy is currently a hurricane, it’s important not to focus too much on its official category or its precise path. It’s a massive system that will affect a huge swath of the eastern U.S., regardless of exactly where it hits or its precise wind speed. For example, tropical storm-force winds can be felt 450 miles away from the storm’s center, according to the National Hurricane Center. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has personnel and supplies spread as far west as the Ohio River Valley, said Craig Fugate, the agency’s director.
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