Buzz building over possible Halloween nor'easter

Weather watchers are atwitter over a chance for a brush with what could become Tropical Storm Sandy and could bring heavy winds and moisture ahead of Halloween along the East Coast. Some are even calling it a "perfect storm", with polar air potentially converging with Sandy.

Of course, a major caveat is necessary: The forecast is more than a week out, meaning it could soon change dramatically. But meteorologists are still getting worked up by what models are showing.


Tropical Depression 18 formed this morning and could become Tropical Storm Sandy by Tuesday. Current forecast tracks take it northeast across Jamaica, Cuba and the Bahamas, according to the National Hurricane Center.

But center forecasters don't look further out than five days, and even five days out recognize a potential error of several hundred miles.

Advertisement senior meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski theorizes that the storm will come up the East Coast and will either be drawn in to make landfall in the mid-Atlantic or New England, or the jet stream could help keep it off the coast as it moves northward. AccuWeather's Henry Margusity expects the latter, predicting a cold front across the southeast will help keep Sandy out at sea.

NOAA's Hydrometeorological Prediction Center calls predictions "dicey at best" but recognizes that how the tropical system and polar jet stream interact will determine what sort of storm we get, if any. Its forecast for 6-10 days from now calls for a 50 percent to 60 percent chance of above-normal precipitation.

Local meteorologists Eric the Red expects it to be a non-event, with an oncoming cold front keeping Sandy out to sea and bringing a chill come next Sunday and Monday. But if those models that are in the minority are correct, it would be a storm a la Jupiter's red spot, he jokes.

Any storm would bring rain -- and not snow -- according to Eric the Red. Evolving models were showing New England a more likely target than the mid-Atlantic Monday afternoon.

Foot's Forecast acknowledges the potential of a big storm, outlined here, but stresses that there is much still unknown at this point.

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