We are currently in our ideal "fetch" for Sandy as she just starts to push onshore across New Jersey. An east to slightly northeast flow is directly off the water and producing wind gusts over 60 MPH over southern coastal Maine. Further inland, as you are probably aware, wind gusts are having a harder time overcoming the speed reduction power of landmass drag. Gusts there are more in the 40-50 MPH range at worst.
I expect the strongest wind gusts to settle down relatively fast...by 9 PM in most spots. That's because as Sandy pushes further inland our wind direction will change to south. Now all of a sudden the winds will have to go over CT, RI and MA on the way to Maine. That means gusts will be reduced to the 40 MPH range.
The rain, on the other hand, will tend to pick up in intensity through the evening with some downpours likely. The outer bands of Sandy have some pretty heavy embedded precipitation echoes so don't be surprised if you see some tropical style rain bursts.
By tomorrow morning Sandy, or what's left of her, will be like any other fall rain storm. Periods of rain will continue and winds will gust up to 40 MPH but more often stay in the 30 MPH range.
After that it's just a matter of waiting for Sandy to totally die. (That sounded morbid eh?). The same upper level blocking pattern that prevented Sandy from going out to sea in the first place, will make it difficult for her to escape the Northeast once she pushes inland. As a result she will become a strong "cut off low", which is a low that is "cut off" from the upper level steering flow.
Still, since she'll be inland, looking for Sandy to get weaker by the day. By Wednesday her rain will be reduced to showers and her wind will be more like a strong breeze.
We should say be able to kick Sandy out of our life all together by Saturday as the jetstream finally picks her up. And you know what? I won't be sad to see her leave :-)
Be safe, I'm out of here for now.