Region on Alert for Hurricane Sandy

Dorothy Rowley | 10/26/2012, 12:47 p.m.

A historic storm tagged by federal forecasters as "Frankenstorm" is brewing along the East Coast from the Carolinas to New York City, where it's expected to vent its worst fury with gale-force winds up to 40 miles an hour and about five inches of rain.

According to a National Weather Service report, the storm - officially known as Hurricane Sandy - began moving northward through the Bahamas on Friday, bringing tropical storm conditions to the east coast of Florida. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the Carolinas Saturday and Saturday night.

"The storm's moving north and it's a very large storm that we expect it to travel up the Coast," James Foster, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told The Washington Informer. "It will be off the Virginia coast sometime late Saturday night into early Sunday."

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecaster Jim Cisco who works from the forecast center in College Park, Md., mentioned in another interview that the storm will almost be a weeklong event. "It's going to be a widespread, serious storm," said Cisco.

Sandy is expected to linger beyond Halloween on Wednesday, while also possibly producing heavy tides and snow in the west beginning Sunday. As a result, local governments and utility companies are in preparation mode to avoid as much damage as possible.

Meteorologists have also predicted that Sandy - which will merge three major weather systems over a densely populated region -- could garner as much as $1 billion worth of destruction.

Meanwhile, in the District of Columbia where winds on Friday traveled east at six to eight miles per hour, clouds are expected to prevail through Saturday with a 50 percent chance of precipitation. Rain in the area is expected to last through Tuesday.