NWS: Too early to determine what, if any, impact on N.J. from Hurricane Irma

 Hurricane Irma's projected track as of Sunday morning. (Image: NHC)

Hurricane Irma's projected track as of Sunday morning. (Image: NHC)

It’s time to step away from the dramatic forecast models circulating around social media and take a dosage of reality.

Forecasters at the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly continue to monitor Hurricane Irma, a strong hurricane situated situated around 950 miles east of the Leeward Islands late Sunday morning.

“It is too soon to determine what, if any, impacts Hurricane Irma would have on not only our local forecast area, but the Eastern Seaboard in general,” NWS forecaster Mike Silva wrote in a forecast discussion Sunday morning.

The office says ensemble models have little consistency with each beyond day five, meaning where Irma could potentially be later next week. Ensembles models are a collection of model runs, as opposed to a single model run, that help meteorologists form consensus forecasts.

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“So banking on a single run of a single model, or even a single member of the ensembles, is not advised due to inherit uncertainties with the models,” Silva said.

As to any potential impacts on New Jersey, which wouldn’t happen until late next week or early the following week, there’s no way of knowing now.

“We will not have a good idea until the middle of (this coming) week,” the forecaster said.

In a report Sunday morning, AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said a system in the United States will help ultimately determine Irma’s path.

“The eastward or northeast progression of a non-tropical system pushing across the central and eastern U.S. this week will highly impact the long-range movement of Irma,” he said.

Regardless of any potential Irma impacts, the National Weather Service says we’re now entering the peak of hurricane season and all coastal residents should have plan in the event of a storm.

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