Meteorologists were thrown for a loop, quite literally, with respect to the latest forecast for Hurricane Matthew. And that loop is good news for South Jersey and the Columbus Day weekend forecast.
Hurricane Matthew is now forecast to stay well to the south of South Jersey, as a cold front that was initially supposed to lift Matthew up along the East Coast will now fail to do so. That means Matthew will be left behind to meander east of Florida and the Carolinas into early next week, perhaps even completing a long, large loop off the coast of the southeastern United States.
For South Jersey, that means an improved weekend forecast and very little impact from Matthew, except for some increased swell or rip currents.
A few rain showers are still in the forecast for later Saturday, but that will be due to a cold front, not Matthew. Sunday and Monday look dry and nice with partly sunny skies.
If Matthew were to actually complete a loop, like some computer models are now suggesting, then it is possible to be back where we are right now later next week, as Matthew comes around full circle to a position east of Florida in a week. However, it's too early to say if the loop idea has merit, and what the end game is for Matthew.
But in the short term, South Jersey appears to be in the clear from any immediate or direct impacts from the hurricane this weekend. The southeast coast from Florida through the Carolinas will still have the threat for a more direct impact as Matthew parallels the coast between now and Sunday.