1. The downgrade of Sandy to a tropical storm was a mistake by NHC in my opinion. The pressure is falling, and Sandy will come in with the impacts like a hurricane is what I think is happening now. Sandy is going through the change from a tropical system to an extra-tropical system, so from a tropical sense, yes, Sandy is not really a hurricane, but from a meteorological sense, Sandy is getting bigger and the pressure is expected to fall to sub 950 mb. At that pressure, winds will be over hurricane force. The two images below show the GFS wind speeds in knots.
2. Sandy will be a dangerous storm coming in with a storm surge that will hit Long Island, the south coast of New England and even into New York City. The Jersey beaches to the Maryland beaches will be flooded and in some areas, the ocean is going into the streets.
It's going to be a stormy period across the country, but the models seem to differ on the outcome.
The storm that is coming into the Plains will produce a wide range of weather including snow, ice and flooding rains.
The holiday time will be stormy in the Plains and Front Range of the Rockies. Travel will be impacted by the weather.
A swath of moderate to heavy snow to move from the Midwest through the Great Lakes.
A storm will streak out of the Rockies into the Great Lakes producing a swath of a snow along its path.