As of 2 a.m. Thursday EDT, Sandy remains a strong Category 2 hurricane.
LATEST STORY: Extraordinary Circumstances Needed for a Historic Storm
Depending on the path of Sandy, now strengthening in the Caribbean, people along the East Coast during the week of Halloween could be looking a destructive storm or breathing a sigh of relief.
Final destination scenarios for Sandy range from bypassing the East Coast to creating a nightmare for tens of millions of people from Norfolk, Va., to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.
Tropical Depression 18 formed in the central Caribbean during midday Monday and strengthened into Tropical Storm Sandy six hours later. Sandy became a hurricane Tuesday, prior to making it's first landfall east of Kingston, Jamaica.
As a strong Category 2 hurricane, Sandy made landfall a second time early Thursday morning on the southeastern coast of Cuba just west of Santiago de Cuba. Reports from Santiago de Cuba at the time of landfall indicated sustained winds of 78 mph and gusts to 114 mph.
The AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center is confident that Sandy will head northward through Thursday, spreading life-threatening flooding rain across Jamaica, Hispaniola, eastern Cuba and the Bahamas.
How Sandy tracks Friday and beyond is dependent on several weather factors, which at this time are very complex. These scenarios range from a disruptive and destructive hybrid between a hurricane and powerful nor'easter to a miss and a simple change to cooler weather for the East Coast.
The worst case scenario for the East Coast involves Sandy paralleling the coast from Florida to the Carolinas this weekend before being drawn inland over the mid-Atlantic or New England early next week.
While the Southeast coast would face heavy rain, strong winds and rough surf, far more serious impacts await communities from Virginia to Maine if this solution pans out.
Reminiscent of the "Perfect Storm" during the week of Halloween 1991, damaging winds and significant storm surge would unfold near and northeast of its center along the coast. Similar to the 1991 storm, these conditions could last for days.
In addition, if the storm were to move inland, unlike the storm in 1991, torrential rain would blast the I-95 corridor and heavy, wet snow would evolve over part of the Appalachian Mountains on the system's western and southwestern flank.
A powerful hybrid storm curving inland over the Northeast would bring major disruptions to travel, flooding, many downed trees and widespread power outages.
For a larger version of this map, please visit the AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center.
However, the above solution is far from set in stone.
There is equal possibility that the jet stream will sweep east fast enough to offer the East Coast protection from Sandy. A push of cooler air and spotty showers would be the result.
Bermuda may then become the storm's target.
Yet another solution would spare the East Coast of a direct hit but would still bring Sandy close enough to graze the coastline with several days of gusty winds and rough surf and seas.
The bottom line is that while uncertainty exists with Sandy's final destination, this is a storm that should be monitored closely by all residents from Florida to the Northeast.
Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski contributed to the content of this story.
The first widespread ice storm of the season created havoc in parts of the southern and central Plains over the weekend.
The reprieve from heavy rain across southern India will not last with the threat for flooding downpours set to return for the final day of November.
After another brief shot of chilly air over the weekend, the month of December will start out milder across the Northeast.
December will begin with a roar across the Northwest as rounds of rain, mountain snow and even ice are in store this week.
The strongest El Nino in 50 years will unfold this winter and significantly alter the chances for a white Christmas across the country.
Snow and ice will swing across parts of the central and northern Plains to the Upper Midwest as November ends and December begins.
Huntington, WV (1985)
First November on record with no snow.
Minneapolis, MN (1991)
A total of 46.9 inches of snow during November 1991 established a new all-time record for any month.
Buffalo, NY (2001)
The month was the mildest, most snow-free Novembers in history. There was not a flake of snow the entire month, which was the first time since records were kept.