UPDATE 10/26/10:40 -- Sandy will be moving away from the Bahamas this afternoon, allowing conditions to improve in that area.
As it moves northward, squally weather will spread to the eastern Carolinas late tonight Saturday, with gusts near 50mph.
This will then be a catastrophic storm for the Middle Atlantic and Northeast. It will not be a purely tropical system, with a core of powerful winds near the center, but rather more like a Nor'Easter, with strong winds over a larger area.
Damaging winds will affect areas from Virginia up into New York and New England, leading to widespread power outages and property damage.
A storm surge of 5-10 feet, perhaps higher in spots, near and north of where the center comes in will combine with astronomical high tied to lead to devestating coastal flooding, and heavy rain will lead to flooding over a large area around the storm. Heavy wet snow can be porblem for the West Virginia mountains.