Tropical storm threat?

At 5 p.m., the National Hurricane Center promoted Tropical Depression to the 19th named tropical storm of this active Atlantic hurricane season -- Sandy.

Sandy is still two days south of Jamaica, and its peak winds, 40 m.p.h. barely crest the 39 m.p.h. threhold for earning a name.

However some computer guidance is suggesting that it could become a threat for the Philadelphia region late in the weekend.

The European forecast model sees Sandy getting swept up into an upper-air system and pulled up the East Coast, the National Weather Service notes in its late-day discussion.

The U.S. model has a different take, with Sandy becoming yet-another fish storm.

You'll probably be seeing and hearing a lot about the potential during the next few days.

For the near-term, a tropical-storm watch has been posted for Haiti, and Sandy is forecast to pack winds of 70 m.p.h. -- just beneath hurricane strength -- as it approaches Jamaica Wednesday morning.

Any impacts around here likely would show up Sunday or early in the workweek.

Sandy is not expected to reach hurricane strength, but any tropical export with a name that has the potential to affect the East Coast is going to be be an attention-getter.

As the weather service said, "Obviously, this bears watching."