Hurricane Sandy, as of 5 a.m. today, was slowly churning off the nation's southeastern coast, heading for landfall sometime early tomorrow in the mid-Atlantic region, with high winds and a huge storm surge that is also expected to sock the Northeast.

The weather pounding is expected to remain over southwestern Connecticut through much of Tuesday, according to early forecasts from the National Hurricane Center.

Sandy, combined with tomorrow's full-moon tides, is expected to trigger flooding throughout the region -- and officials in the region have reacted by that threat by telling people to evacuate low-lying shoreline areas today. Emergency shelters in many communities are also expected to open today to accommodate people displaced by the evacuations.

The National Weather Service, as of early Sunday, has already issued the following advisories for southwestern Connecticut:

High wind warning -- 6 a.m. tomorrow through 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Flood watch -- Monday morning through Tuesday afternoon.

Coastal flood warning -- 6 a.m. Monday through 3 p.m. Tuesday.

The first effects from Sandy may be felt in the region by late today, according to the NWS, but there is a chance of showers as early as midday. Skies will be cloudy with the daytime high temperature about 60 degrees. There will be a northeast wind 11 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph. Chance of daytime precipitation is 20 percent, according to the NWS.

Tonight, rain is likely as the temperature dips to a low of about 50 degrees. It will be windy, with a northeast wind 21 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 44 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent.

Tomorrow, the intensity of the storm picks up, and rain will be heavy at times. The temperature will rise to about 60 degrees with an east wind 37 to 39 mph, with gusts as high as 60 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent, the NWS says.

More heavy rain is anticipated tomorrow night, as the temperature dips to a low in the mid-50s. It will be very windy, with an east wind 41 to 47 mph, with gusts as high as 65 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent.

On Tuesday, the storm surge continues, with heavy rain at times, as the high temperature reaches the mid-50s. More high-wind conditions are expected, with a southeast wind 34 to 39 mph, with gusts as high as 55 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent.

Tuesday night, showers are expected although storm conditions should begin easing, as the temperature registers a low in the mid-40s. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent.

Wednesday, there is still a 50 percent chance of showers, as skies remain cloudy and the high temperature is in the low-50s. There is a diminished chance of showers by Wednesday night, with a low temperature in the mid-40s.

The outlook for Thursday, according to the weather service, is mostly cloudy and temperatures in the low-50s.