Parts of New Jersey may see hazardous weather conditions this week and into next week as Hurricane Sandy makes its way to the U.S., according to the National Weather Service.
"]Hurricane] Sandy is slowly gathering strength south-southwest of Jamaica. The current forecast track has Sandy passing over Jamaica Wednesday afternoon as a hurricane, then near or over eastern Cuba Wednesday night. Winds have already begun to increase in and around the Florida Peninsula, especially over the coastal waters where Small Craft Advisories and Tropical Storm Watches are in effect," the NWS said.
In New Jersey, the hazardous weather outlook has been issued to begin Thursday, when rainfall and increased wind speeds are expected.
"The remnants of Sandy may affect portions of the area this weekend into early next week," according to the NWS website.
Keep monitoring forecasts
"This will ultimately depend on the eventual track and evolution of Tropical Cyclone Sandy as it interacts with a deepening upper level low pressure system approaching the east coast," the NWS said. "The storm may very well just move out to sea and have little, if any, impact on our weather. Again, forecast confidence is still low at this point since Sandy is still in the Caribbean Sea and any potential impacts are still several days away. Please refer to the National Hurricane Center for the latest forecasts on Sandy, and monitor the latest National Weather Service forecasts throughout the week."
Kristina Pydynowski, senior meteorologist for Accuweather.com, said "Depending on the path of Sandy, now brewing in the Caribbean, people along the East Coast during the week of Halloween could be looking a destructive storm or breathing a sigh of relief. Final destination scenarios for Sandy range from bypassing the East Coast to creating a nightmare for tens of millions of people from Norfolk, Va., to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston."
If it hits, it could be a big one
Eric Holthaus from the Wall Street Journal said if it hits, it could count among one of the bigger storms in history:
"What could happen is quite complicated, and may have precedence only a handful of times across the more than 200 years of detailed historical local weather recordkeeping (Big storms in 1804, 1841, 1991, and 2007 come immediately to mind)," he said.