- Tropical storm Fay will run northeast through Saturday.
- The main impact will be heavy localized rain from the coastal parts of the mid-Atlantic to New England.
- Poor beach conditions and gusty winds are expected along parts of the mid-northeast and Atlantic coasts.
- Fay is the first record ‘F’ storm in the history of the Atlantic basin.
Tropical storm Fay is rapidly advancing down the east coast and, while not a major storm, will bring the threat of heavy local rainfall, gusty winds, and poor beach conditions through Saturday to parts of the northeast.
Fay turned into a tropical storm on Friday afternoon as it was centered near the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
It is currently centered east of the Delmarva peninsula, moving almost north. Most of the rain associated with Fay is north of its center, spreading across the Jersey shore.
According to the National Weather Service, flooding was reported on roads and residential areas near Long Neck, Delaware, this morning. Flash floods were also reported in Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island.
In New Jersey, flooding caused the closure from the George Redding Bridge in Wildwood, New Jersey, on Friday morning.
Based on radar data and conventional surface observations, the tropical storm warning was extended to Delaware, including Delaware Bay, on Friday morning.
This tropical storm warning extends north into New Jersey, Long Island, and southern Connecticut, including the New York City metropolitan area and Long Island Sound.
Flash flood alerts have been issued from the Delmarva Peninsula to southern New England and the Hudson Valley, including the entire three-state metropolitan area of New York City, as well as the Albany, Hartford, and Philadelphia subways.
(PLUS: Previous ‘Fay’ was strange for Florida)
Friday – Friday night: Downtown Fay will crawl along the Jersey shore on Friday, then move inland over the lower Hudson Valley on Friday night. Rain bands will stretch from the Delmarva Peninsula and Jersey shore to parts of eastern Pennsylvania, central and eastern New York, and southern and western New England. Poor beach conditions, including dangerous rip currents, are expected from parts of the mid-Atlantic coast to Long Island and Connecticut.
Saturday: On Saturday morning, any lingering rain from Fay should be from central and northern New York State to northern New England, rushing out to Canada in the afternoon as Fay spins.
Rain – Heavy local rains will be the main impact of Tropical Storm Fay through Saturday.
Areas from the Mid-Atlantic coast to upstate New York and parts of New England could see at least an inch of rain through Saturday. Heavier totals are possible when rain bands or groups of thunderstorms stagnate for a few hours, which could lead to local flash floods.
This flash flood threat is highest in urban areas and areas saturated by heavy rains earlier this week, including parts of New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, and southeastern New York.
As long as the rain is not excessive, it would be welcome in parts of New England and upstate New York, currently in moderate to severe drought.
Winds Widespread harmful winds are not expected from this system. But the coastal areas from the Mid-Atlantic to Long Island and southern New England could see some gusts of wind over 40 mph.
Rip Currents, Rough Surf – As mentioned in the timing section above, on Friday there will be dangerous surf and rip currents along parts of the east coast.
Severe storms, tornadoes – There is a chance that Fay will generate thunderstorms with isolated damaging gusts of wind or brief tornadoes Friday through Friday nights from New Jersey to southern New England, according to the NOAA Storm Prediction Center.
A record-breaking early ‘F’ storm
Tropical Storm Fay is the sixth earliest tropical storm to form in a season, breaking the previous record previously set on July 22, 2005, with the formation of Tropical Storm Franklin.
(PLUS: The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is not as busy as it seems.)
While a sixth tropical storm before mid-July is unknown, previous hurricane seasons have been considerably more impactful.
Although a tropical depression occurred in July or storms formed on the mid-Atlantic coast, they generally form further east on the warmer Gulf Stream current. North of the Virginia border, water temperatures generally cool rapidly.
Not many tropical systems have intensified this close to the mid-Atlantic or northeast coast.
Roundup: heavy rains impact southeast
The origins of what eventually became Fay could be traced to turn into the upper levels of the atmosphere generated by thunderstorm activity in the Lower Mississippi Valley ahead of the July 4 holiday weekend, according to the analyst at hurricanes and storms The Weather Channel Greg Postel.
As the system turned over the southeast, up to 7 inches of rain on Tuesday caused flash flooding in parts of the Savannah River Valley in eastern Georgia and western South Carolina.
Secondary roads were razed in Lincoln County, Georgia, northwest of Augusta.
Tuesday was the wettest day in July on record in Augusta, Georgia, a record that has been maintained since 1887.
In South Carolina, floodwater entered at least three homes in Edgefield County, according to local emergency management. At least one road was razed and a section of Interstate 20 flooded Interstate 520 on the northeast side of the Augusta, Georgia metropolitan area.
An observer at Hunting Island State Park, South Carolina reported 12.75 inches of rain, mainly on July 7., which flooded the roads and caused the park to close, according to the National Weather Service.
Eventually, Fay’s circulation moved off the coast of the Carolinas, and was able to consolidate enough thunderstorms near its center to be considered a tropical storm on Thursday.
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