- Tropical Storm Fay will sweep into the Northeast through Saturday.
- The main impact will be heavy rainfall from coastal parts of New England.
- Poor beach conditions and gusty winds are expected along parts of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast coasts.
- Fay is the record earliest ‘F’ storm in Atlantic Basin history.
Tropical Storm Fay is quickly moving up the East Coast and, while not a major storm, will bring the threat of locally flooding rain, gusty winds and poor beach conditions through early Saturday to parts of the Northeast.
Fay’s weak center made landfall just north of Atlantic City and Brigantine, New Jersey at around 4:45 p.m. EDT.
Fay is moving almost due northward along the coast of New Jersey. Most all of the rain associated with Fay is to the north and northwest of its center, spreading up the Hudson Valley and into New England.
Flash flooding was reported in a few locations from Delaware to New York City.
In Delaware, some flooding of roads and residential areas was reported near Long Neck, according to the National Weather Service. Flash flooding was also reported in Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island.
A section of I-76 has been flooded near I-676 in Philadelphia. Other lane and road restrictions were in place Friday afternoon.
Isolated urban flooding has closed a few streets in New York City as of Friday afternoon.
Flash flood watches have been issued from the Delmarva Peninsula to southern New England and the Hudson Valley, including the entire New York City Tri-State metro area, as well as the Albany, Hartford and Philadelphia metros.
This tropical storm warning extends northward from New Jersey to Long Island and southern Connecticut, including the New York City metro area and Long Island Sound.
Sustained tropical storm force winds have recently been reported in Lewes, Delaware, where gusts to 53 mph have also been recorded. A wind gust of 45 mph was recently recorded at New York City’s JFK Airport.
Friday Night: The center of Fay will scrape along the Jersey Shore Friday, then move inland over the lower Hudson Valley by Friday night. Bands of rain will spread from the Delmarva Peninsula and Jersey Shore into 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: Saturday morning, any lingering rain from Fay should be from central and Upstate New York into northern New England, exiting quickly into Canada by afternoon as Fay spins down.
Rainfall – Locally heavy rainfall will be the main impact from Tropical Storm Fay through Saturday.
Areas from the coastal mid-Atlantic to upstate New York and parts of New England could see at least an inch of rain through Saturday. Heavier totals are possible where bands of rain or clusters of thunderstorms stall for a few hours, which could lead to local flash flooding.
This flash flood threat is highest in urban areas and areas saturated by heavy rain earlier this week, including parts of New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and southeastern New York.
As long as the rainfall isn’t excessive, it would be welcomed in parts of New England and Upstate New York, currently in moderate to severe drought.
Winds – Widespread damaging winds are not expected from this system. But coastal areas from New Jersey to Long Island and southern New England may see some wind gusts over 40 mph.
Rip Currents, Rough Surf – As mentioned in the timing section above, there will be dangerous surf and rip currents along parts of the East Coast Friday. Some minor coastal flooding is possible along the New Jersey Coast and in New York City.
Severe Storms, Tornadoes – There is the chance Fay could spawn thunderstorms with isolated damaging wind gusts or brief tornadoes Friday into Friday night from New Jersey to southern New England, according to NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center.
A Record Early ‘F’ Storm
Tropical Storm Fay is the earliest sixth tropical storm to form in a season, beating the old record previously set on July 22nd, 2005, with the formation of Tropical Storm Franklin.
While a sixth tropical storm before mid-July is unheard of, previous hurricane seasons have been considerably more impactful.
While a July tropical depression or storm formation off the mid-Atlantic coast has happened, they typically form further east over the warmer Gulf Stream current. North of the Virginia border, water temperatures typically cool off quickly.
Not many tropical systems have intensified this close to the mid-Atlantic or Northeast Coast.
Recap: Heavy Rain Impacts the Southeast
The origins of what eventually became Fay could be traced to spin in the upper levels of the atmosphere generated by thunderstorm activity over the lower Mississippi Valley before the Fourth of July holiday weekend, according to The Weather Channel hurricane and storm analyst Greg Postel.
While the system was spinning over the Southeast, Tuesday, up to 7 inches of rain triggered flash flooding in parts of the Savannah River valley of eastern Georgia and western South Carolina.
Secondary roads were washed out in Lincoln County, Georgia, northwest of Augusta.
Tuesday was the wettest July day on record in Augusta, Georgia, a record that had stood since 1887.
In South Carolina, floodwater entered at least three homes in Edgefield County, according to local emergency management. At least one road was washed out and a section of Interstate 20 was flooded at Interstate 520 on the northeast side of the Augusta, Georgia, metro area.
One observer on Hunting Island State Park, South Carolina, reported 12.75 inches of rain, primarily on July 7, which inundated roads and prompted 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.
Fay steadily intensified as it moved northward from the Gulf Stream current toward the Jersey Coast.
Rainfall pounded the mid-Atlantic on Friday as Fay moved northward.
In Ocean City, Maryland, up to 5.5 inches of rain flooded numerous roads in the city Friday morning.
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