NEW JERSEY - Hurricane Sandy picked up forward speed Monday, racing at 28 mph toward southern New Jersey with 90 mph winds. Millions along the northeast corridor are bracing for life-threatening conditions.
At 5 p.m., Sandy was located about 30 miles east-southeast of Cape May,, New Jersey and 40 miles south-south of New York City.
Landfall was expected before 6:30 p.m.
On its current track, the center of the system is expected to make landfall just south of of the southern New Jersey coast by early evening.
An Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft reported maximum sustained winds were 90 mph, with higher gusts. Movement was to the west-northwest.
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Hurricane and tropical storm-force winds were expected from Virginia to Massachusetts. Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 485 miles.
Sandy is expected to transform into a frontal or wintertime low pressure system prior to landfall, according to the National Hurricane Center . But this does not mean the system will weaken. To the contrary, some strengthening is expected during the transition.
Widespread power outages and property damage are expected as the storm is expected to be a several day event.
The Hurricane Center also pointed out that winds affecting the upper floors of high rise buildings will be significantly stronger than floors near ground level.