An interesting scenario is shaping up as Tropical Storm Sandy moves north just off the East Coast of Florida later this week.
Tuesday afternoon the National Hurricane Center has the center of Sandy located about 200 miles due south of the island of Jamaica. The storm had winds sustained at 50 mph and was moving north-northeast at 5 mph.
The forecast path of Sandy, per the NHC, takes it over Jamaica as a Category 1 hurricane, then over eastern Cuba and northward through the Bahamas some 250 miles east of Miami.
The storm will be passing fairly close to the East Coast of Florida on Thursday and Friday. The affects on Jacksonville may not be significant, but is worth watching. If Sandy stays well behaved and follows the current forecast path, Jacksonville will see breezy conditions ahead of a strong cold front as the pressure gradient begins to tighten between the storm and the front.
Coastal showers will be possible through the weekend, with very windy conditions along the coast.
The biggest concern of course will be the wave action and rip tides. One of the in-house models indicates that waves near Jacksonviile Beach may approach 15 feet, with some beach erosion possible. Red flags will likely be hoisted along most of the Florida coast as dangerous rip currents set in. Swimming is not advised during this time.
Georgia-Florida game day weather at EverBank is still looking good, with partly cloudy skies and breezy conditions -- especially along the coast. There is a slight chance of showers but it will be for areas mainly east of Interstate 95.
As far as the ''interesting'' part of this story, some of the models indicate a fairly significant storm system affecting the mid Atlantic and northeastern states as Sandy (extra tropical by this time) may hook west towards the approaching front creating severe weather conditions with heavy rain/snow for inland portions of the mid Atlantic and northeast.
There are still a lot of unanswered questions, but this event will definitely be worth watching as the major cities of the northeast (DC, Baltimore, Philly and NYC) will be in the direct path.
The same front that will keep Sandy away from Florida will usher in much cooler weather by Monday. Current indications are that high temperatures will struggle to reach 70 degrees for highs with overnight lows well into the 40s. The skies over Jacksonville should be mostly sunny as we close out October.