A tropical storm watch is now in effect for Southeast Florida and the Upper Keys as Tropical Storm Sandy continues to strengthen and moves towards Jamaica.
In its 8am EDT outlook, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) says Sandy is expected to become a hurricane before it reaches Jamaica and Cuba, later today.
The NHC notes:
Tropical storm conditions are expected to reach Jamaica this morningÃ¢â‚¬ ¦with hurricane conditions expected by this afternoon. Tropical storm conditions are expected in portions of Haiti by this afternoon. Hurricane conditions are possible in eastern Cuba by this evening. Tropical storm conditions are expected in the central Bahamas by early ThursdayÃ¢â‚¬ ¦and in the northwestern Bahamas by Thursday afternoon.Ã¢â‚¬
Jamaica, Haiti and the Bahamas are members of the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), a multinational insurance pool developed by the World Bank. Funded by premiums paid by participating countries, the facility provides early payout to members after a major hurricane or earthquake.
Check out I.I.I. hurricane facts+stats.