Tropical Storm Sandy forms in Caribbean

Oct. 22, 2012 at 6:30 PM

MIAMI, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Tropical Storm Sandy formed from a depression in the Caribbean Sea Monday, triggering a storm watch for Jamaica and Haiti, U.S. forecasters said.

Sandy was stationary about 395 miles south-southwest of Kingston, Jamaica, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said in its 5 p.m. EDT advisory.

The storm packed maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is expected, with the possibility of a hurricane warning for Jamaica by Monday night.

Sandy was expected to begin moving toward the north and north-northeast over the next couple of days, with the center reaching Jamaica by Wednesday.

Tropical storm-force winds extended 70 miles from the center. Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and eastern Cuba could see 5 to 10 inches of rain from Sandy, with localized amounts reaching 16 inches. The rains could produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

Meanwhile, Tropical Depression No. 19 developed over the central Atlantic Ocean Monday about 750 miles east-northeast of the Leeward Islands. The depression showed maximum sustained winds of 35 mph, and it could strengthen into a tropical storm by Monday night.

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