Just days after Hurricane Sandy's wide swath of destruction slammed the East End, a fierce nor'easter could be slated to sandbag the area next week.
On Friday, Dan Hoffman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Upton, said weather patterns indicate a storm could be coming by Wednesday or Thursday.
"There are indications that there could be a storm developing, but it's a little too early to really get into specifics at this point," he said. "It could be a nor'easter, but at this point it's too early to say."
While the storm system is "not even on the playing field just yet," should it materialize, it would develop over the southeastern United States, Hoffman said.
"The effect on us would be determined by how close to the coast it actually tracks," he said.
A storm could evolve, Hoffman said, because of the weather pattern that the area is already in, with a large area of pressure over the North Atlantic acting to blow the wind straight east to west, with a jet stream buckling and bringing storms up the coast.
"Of course, things have to come together just right for that to happen and we're still unclear as to where the storm is going to develop, how intense it's going to be and where it's going to track," Hoffman said.
And, Hoffman cautioned, the area of energy in the jet stream that would cause the storm to develop is still very far away. "It hasn't even reached the West Coast yet," he said. "There's an uncertainty about how it's going to evolve once it reaches us."
The storm, following on the heels of Hurricane Sandy, would hit residents hard, Hoffman said. "If we were to have a substantial storm, it would definitely make things a bit more difficult, considering a lot of people are still without power. Ultimately, what you want after a large storm like we just had is nice weather. Anything else would slow down the recovery process."
Also, Hoffman said, the already-saturated ground could make it far easier for even more trees to fall in the face of a second storm.