Tropical Storm Sandy Could Make Life Miserable For South Florida Tomorrow

There's no need to raid Publix for water, hurricane shutters, vodka and "Golden Girls" DVDs just yet, but you might as well prepare yourself for a miserable end of the week thanks to Tropical Storm Sandy.

The strengthening storm is set to become a Cat 1 hurricane before walloping Jamaica later today, and the National Weather Service has now put South Florida under a Tropical Storm Watch starting tomorrow.

As of last night, Sandy was already packing 70 mph winds and drenching rain bands; many rural parishes in Jamaica have already evacuated, anticipating damaging floods and landslides.

Forecasters call for the storm to become a hurricane before passing right over the island today. Its path will then take it over eastern Cuba -- including the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, where ongoing military trials will likely face delays.

Since passing over that land will probably weaken Sandy, it's expected to be back to a tropical storm as it passes just east of Miami on Thursday.

As you can see from the full map, Dade isn't in the path for a direct hit, but could still see 25 to 35 mph winds gusting up to 50 mph and drenching rain bands from the storm.

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