After blasting Jamaica and eastern Cuba Wednesday into Wednesday night, Sandy continued onward, blasting the Bahamas Thursday.
After taking shape midday Monday in the central Caribbean, Tropical Depression 18 intensified into Tropical Storm Sandy six hours later. Sandy became a hurricane Tuesday, prior to making its 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.
Additional rain will deluge eastern Cuba and portions of Hispaniola as Sandy continue to depart Thursday. Tropical storm-force wind gusts may also persist into the afternoon.
According to the AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center, Sandy will continue a northward movement into Friday and then off the East Coast of the U.S. this weekend.
The central Bahamas will be slammed by gusts to 100 mph in some cases.
The bigger cities of the northwestern Bahamas, including Nassau and Freeport, will get inundated by the heaviest rain from Sandy Thursday afternoon through Friday evening with totals of 4-8 inches forecast. Sustained winds of 40-60 mph with hurricane-force gusts are expected.
"The big concern is flooding. Wind damage and power outages are other threats. First, you get the heavy rain and then the strong wind, and trees get uprooted," AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Steve Travis said.
The southeastern Bahamas will be spared the heaviest rain, but amounts can still reach 2-4 inches. Gusts of 50 mph will lash these islands. While the southeastern Bahamas will lie to the east of Sandy's center, severe weather with locally damaging wind gusts, waterspouts and tornadoes are a risk.
Another danger will be building surf and rip currents in these areas and along Florida's east coast as Sandy strengthens and moves northward. Significant beach erosion could occur along the eastern shores of Florida, while Sandy may dump 2-3 inches of rain in the Miami area.
Content contributed by AccuWeather Meteorologist Meghan Evans.
Travel hazards, delays and disruptions associated with rain, ice and snow will continue over the Central states through the balance of the Thanksgiving weekend.
Following a mild Thanksgiving and Black Friday, noticeably cooler air will return to the Northeast this weekend.
Sandra remains on track to make landfall in northern Mexico on Saturday, but it will be much weaker than its current hurricane status.
The current reprieve from heavy rain across southern India will not last long with the threat for flooding downpours set to return for the final days of November.
Several days of heavy rain will bring the potential to cause flooding from the southern Plains to the middle Mississippi Valley into early next week.
Compared to Thanksgiving Day in 2014, this Thanksgiving will be substantially warmer in the Northeast.
O'Fallon, MD (1990)
Strong downburst from a thunderstorm caused an apartment to collapse, injuring 25 people.
New England Coast (1898)
Famous "Portland" storm formed off Cape Cod with loss of 200 lives. Many others were lost to the raging sea in 50 small vessels. A total of 27 inches of snow in New London, CT; 15 inches at Waterbury, CT. Peak wind was 72 mph in Boston. Boston received more than a foot of snow.
Second heavy snowfall in three days hits the region with 12 inches on the ground in NJ; 14 inches in NY; greatest November snow in New England since 1898.