A late weekend coastal storm for the region? Maybe, maybe not

     The latest ECMWF model run (left) shows the storm off North Carolina's Outer Banks at 6:00 p.m. Sunday. The strongest winds around 35-40 mph. But there's no storm in the latest GFS model run (right).

    The latest ECMWF model run (left) shows the storm off North Carolina's Outer Banks at 6:00 p.m. Sunday. The strongest winds around 35-40 mph. But there's no storm in the latest GFS model run (right).

    Some global weather forecasting models are hinting at the possibility of a coastal low pressure system impacting portions of the Eastern Seaboard, including New Jersey, late Sunday into Monday, but will it happen?

    It’s certainly too early to say, and the final track makes the difference between sunny and stormy weather.

    However, since we’re less than a week away from any potential impact, let’s talk about the chance.

    There are currently two possibilities. One scenario takes a storm into the region, delivering typical coastal storm conditions: rain, wind, and rough seas. 

    Not Irene. Not Sandy. 

    The other possibility is the storm heading out to sea, avoiding land, but sending large swells our way. 

    AccuWeather.com forecasters say that a non-tropical storm moving off the southern Eastern Seaboard later this week could trap tropical moisture.

    “The potential system off the Atlantic coast this weekend is not likely to be purely tropical but would likely be a hybrid,” said AccuWeather.com hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski.

    But there’s much forecasting model uncertainty.

    Weather Underground’s Dr. Jeff Masters explains that two forecasting models (ECMWF and Canadian GEM) indicate storm development, while the GFS and UKMET models do not.

    “In their 8 am EDT Tuesday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC [National Hurricane Center] gave no odds that anything would spin up in the next five days,” Masters wrote in a blog post today. “Out of respect for the ECMWF model, which has the lowest incidence of false alarms for predicting genesis of tropical cyclones, I put the 5-day odds of development at 20%.”

    The ECMWF model forecasts sustained winds at 30 to 40 mph for Sunday and Monday, according to Dr. Masters.

    So there you have it. Maybe, maybe not.

    Stay tuned to Jersey Shore Hurricane News for updates.

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