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Sandy criticism prompts change in storm warnings

MIAMI (AP) — The National Hurricane Center is changing the way it issues hurricane and tropical storm watches and warnings after being criticized over its handling of Superstorm Sandy.

During Sandy, forecasters at the center in Miami stopped issuing advisories and hurricane warnings because the storm lost its tropical characteristics and mutated into a hybrid storm as it merged with two cold-weather systems. Some people said that caused Northeast residents to underestimate Sandy's danger when it hit the New Jersey on Oct. 29.

Under the new policy announced Thursday, the National Hurricane Center says it will continue to issue advisories and warnings even when storms technically are no longer hurricanes or tropical storms.

The hurricane center attributed 72 deaths in the U.S. to Sandy, but some estimates were higher.

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