In what has become a familiar prediction for more than 48 hours, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center continue to predict Hurricane Sandy will take a path towards the Jersey Shore, though the final site of its potential landfall is still up in the air.
Forecast data from early Saturday morning shows the large storm system beginning to take on more characteristics of a nor'easter, forecasters said, but its winds remained at 75 m.p.h.
Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center said the forecast track of the storm had shifted slightly east, but essentially stayed the same as previous predictions from Friday. A forecast discussion released by the hurricane center said Sandy will mostly likely weaken over the next 36 hours, then restrengthen before making its westward turn sometime Monday afternoon or evening.
As that strengthening occurs, the forecast said, Sandy will lose some of its tropical characterisitcs. That does not mean local residents are off the hook, however.
"Regardless of the exact structure at landfall, Sandy is expected to be a large and powerful cyclone," the hurricane center said.
A forecast cone centered the storm's potential landfall just north Delaware, but potential landfall sites stretched from southern Virginia to New England.
No areas of New Jersey are currently under any watches or warnings, though voluntary evacuations have been announced in Ocean City, Mantoloking, Long Beach Township, Harvey Cedars and Stafford Township.