86ºF

Fay makes landfall just north-northeast of Atlantic City

Expected to be a rainmaker for the Atlantic Coast

Made landfall near Atlantic City, New Jersey
Made landfall near Atlantic City, New Jersey

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The National Hurricane Center upgraded a system that crossed from the Gulf across Florida and the Southeast over the last few days to Tropical Storm Fay at 5 p.m. Thursday.

At 5 p.m, the center of Tropical Storm Fay was located near 10 miles north-northeast of Atlantic City, new Jersey and moving north at near 14 mph. A northward to north- northeastward motion at a faster forward speed is expected tonight and Saturday.

On the forecast track, the center of Fay will move near or over portions of the New Jersey coast this evening and then move inland over southeastern New York and western New England tonight and Saturday.

Data from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast today while the center remains over water. Weakening should begin after the center moves inland, and Fay is expected to weaken to a tropical depression by early Saturday. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles primarily to the east and southeast of the center.

A Weatherflow site at Larchmont Harbor, New York, recently reported a sustained wind of 35 mph and a wind gust of 41 mph. JFK airport in New York City recently reported a wind gust of 45 mph.

So far this hurricane season we have seen: Two storms in the month of May, the earliest fifth named storm (Edouard) and yet all of these storms have been very weak, all have been tropical storms.

Fay becomes the sixth tropical storm of the season and the earliest a sixth named storm has developed. Each one of these tropical storms developed from a large gyre of deep tropical moisture.

One gyre developed in May (developing Arthur and Bertha). Another gyre of deep tropical moisture developed in June (developed Cristobal and Dolly) and the current gyre of deep tropical moisture has developed Edouard and now Fay.

As with most tropical storms, winds will be relatively weak and nondestructive, winds would be highest over the offshore coastal waters of New Jersey and New England as wind gusts may reach 50 mph.

A small storm surge of up to 3 feet may take place at landfall along Long Island and into Southern Rhode Island.

Side note: based upon the current forecast models, if Fay does follow the forecast and track along the coast (remain relatively weak) before dissipating, these first six early-season storms would have a combined lowest Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) ever recorded in the tropical Atlantic Hurricane Basin.

Basically, the 2020 hurricane season may start off active, but not destructive, lets hope the trend continues.

The downside? The most updated seasonal forecasters are not that optimistic. Colorado State University and Dr. Phil Klotzbach are still anticipating another 15 named storms, nine more hurricanes and of those hurricanes, four becoming major (potentially very destructive) hurricanes with winds of at least 115 mph.


About the Authors: