This article was provided by AccuWeather.com.
Communities from Jamaica to the Bahamas are the first targets of newly-formed Tropical Depression 18 before the future tropical storm has any chance to threaten the United States.
After taking shape midday Monday in the central Caribbean, Tropical Depression 18 is expected to continue intensifying into Tropical Storm Sandy by Tuesday.
Scenarios for the final destination of T.D. 18 range from the storm bypassing the United States to creating a nightmare for millions along the East Coast early next week.
Communities from Jamaica to the Bahamas will endure the wrath of future Sandy significantly sooner.
T.D. 18 will curve northward by Tuesday--putting the storm on a path to slam directly into Jamaica on Wednesday before it crosses eastern Cuba and the central Bahamas by Friday.
Future Sandy could be nearing or at hurricane strength prior to reaching Jamaica, increasing the potential damage from the storm on its path from Jamaica to the Bahamas.
Torrential rain will not only inundate the islands in the path of T.D. 18 through Friday but will also soak Hispaniola and the southern Bahamas.
Rainfall totals will generally average 4 to 8 inches with locally more than a foot in the mountains. Life-threatening flooding and mudslides are a serious concern.
Another impending danger is rough surf along the coastline of Jamaica, eastern Cuba, Hispaniola and the Bahamas.
Surf will also build Thursday into Friday along Florida's eastern coast as the tropical system presses northward. The AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center hopes that this is Sandy's only impact to the U.S., but that is far from certain.