When is a perfect storm forming over the Atlantic Ocean, with the threat of Hurricane Sandy looming?
The US, for one, is bracing for the worst.
US President Joe Biden, in an address to Congress on Tuesday, warned that if the storm does hit, there could be more rain in the Atlantic and possibly flooding in New York City.
“This could be a Category 4 or 5 hurricane,” Biden said, adding that New York and the rest of the US could see flooding as early as Wednesday.
“The danger is very real,” he added.
“If the storm comes onshore, New York, the rest, could see up to four feet of water.”
Sandy was predicted to make landfall in the eastern Atlantic on Tuesday night, with sustained winds of up to 185 mph (250km/h).
According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm will probably bring a storm surge of up as much as 6 feet (2 metres) to the coastline, making it “extremely dangerous for people to stay at home and take shelter.”
But the US weather agency has warned that there could still be a chance of flooding as the storm approaches the state.
In an update on its website on Tuesday evening, the National Weather Service said Sandy had strengthened and was expected to pass through the southern states by Wednesday.
If it does not make landfall, the weather agency said, “it is highly likely that this storm will move inland and produce damaging winds.”
“The risk of damage from a storm like this is very high,” the agency said.
“We do not have a time scale for when a storm will make landfall.”
A hurricane warning has been issued for parts of the state, with parts of New Jersey, Delaware, and Rhode Island under a mandatory evacuation order.
“People in these areas should take extra precaution, including wearing waterproof clothing and avoiding swimming and boating in the storm’s path,” the warning said.
Hurricane Sandy is expected to weaken and head for the coast, bringing rain to parts of eastern and southern New York.
The storm is currently the second-strongest hurricane in the history of the Atlantic.
The strongest storm to ever hit the Atlantic basin was Hurricane Wilma in 1988, which battered parts of North Carolina and South Carolina.