Have You Heard About Next Week’s Nor’Easter Chance?

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Chris Collett see's peace on the Seaside Heights horizon.

Chris Collett see’s peace on the Seaside Heights horizon.

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By Kate Bilo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It seems like everyone has already heard about the potential for a storm to ride up the coast through the middle part of next week, and it has lots of people buzzing across social media. I wanted to present some information about the current outlook for this potential storm and what we’re seeing.

It does indeed look like there is a chance that a storm forms off the southeast coast late Tuesday and then moves northward. The question is: Where does it go after that? Currently, there is no real consensus.

And yes, while I realize this sounds quite similar to our blog updates on Sandy about a week before the storm, please rest assured that this storm will be nowhere near the strength of that powerful hurricane. The problem is that Sandy has left the coastline in our area so weakened and vulnerable that even a weaker storm could exacerbate the damage and devastation.

I say there’s no consensus in the models and currently, that’s true – but the problem is that the one model showing a stronger storm with impacts for our area is the European. This is the model that nailed the track and strength of Sandy well before the storm arrived, so it has to be given at least a little more weight with this next storm as well.

So here are the predictions as of right now: The GFS forms the storm and brings it up the coastline but keeps the worst out to sea. The coastline could see a little rain and some gusty winds and rough seas but that’s about it. The Canadian model keeps the storm well out to sea until it’s brought back into northern New England as a relatively powerful nor’easter – but still a miss for Sandy’s most hard-hit areas.

The latest European, however, brings the storm up the coast and moves it inland closer to coastal Maryland, and slows it down a bit and hangs around into Thursday – meaning the threat for heavy rain, strong winds at the coast, and even the risk for increased coastal flooding.

On a normal November day, this would be almost a run-of-the mill wind and rain storm. There’s too much warm air for snow except in spots well inland, and the storm is generally quick-hitting, coming at a period between the full and new moon where tides aren’t that impressive. But of course, there is no “normal” anymore for the DE, NJ and NY coastlines. In the wake of Sandy, all coastal defenses have been compromised and even a relatively weak storm could pack a punch.

We will continue to monitor forecast guidance and keep you updated with any changes. And we will continue the chant of “OUT TO SEA!” that started today here in the Weather Center – new storm hitting the coast is exactly what we don’t need.

One thing to note: As of now, it does NOT look like this storm will impact the weather on Election Day across our area.

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