As expected, Hurricane Sandy weakened last night into a Tropical Storm as she continues to take on extra-tropical characteristics. As Sandy moves into the warm Gulf Stream waters on Sunday and Monday she will strengthen and her wind field will expand.
In a warm core, tropical, system the highest winds are usually located around the eye wall. However, this storm will be transitioning into a mid-latitude cyclone and as her central pressure rapidly drops, a term sometimes referred to in meteorology as bombogenesis, the wind field will increase in size. *This is why tropical storm status versus hurricane status isn’t important in regards to the widespread damaging wind gusts that this system will contain.
The Wind Field (in knots – which are higher than mph):
In the immediate DC Area, I would be preparing for the potential of tropical storm force winds of 40 to 60 mph with higher gusts.