The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center on Thursday predicts a weakened — but still potent — Hurricane Sandy directly off the Jersey Shore by Tuesday morning.
The 11 a.m. update from the Miami-based agency shows Sandy — a post-tropical cyclone by the time it reaches New Jersey — making a sharp turn to the northwest Monday morning, with the storm sitting just offshore by Tuesday at 8 a.m.
The wider predicted track of the storm shows it making landfall anywhere between the northern North Carolina coast and Massachusetts.
(See prediction graphic attached to this story.)
"The track model guidance continues to trend toward the northwest as Sandy interacts with an amplifying shortwave trough over the mid-Atlantic states," a forecast discussion advisory posted on the agency's Web site said Thursday afternoon. "However, there remains significant differences in regard to the timing of this interaction and where the northwest turn will occur."
Forecasters said the current, officiall track of the storm from the National Hurricane Center is the balance between two forecast models.
The storm is forecast to maintain strong tropical storm force winds of 70 mph by the time it reaches the Shore area, just shy of the 74 mph hurricane force winds.
No watches or warnings have been issued for New Jersey, or any other area in the mid-Atlantic region, though tropical storm warnings and watches have been issued for entire east coast of Florida.