Tropical Storm Fay Forms Off North Carolina Coast; Tropical Storm Warning Issued | The Weather Channel

Tropical Storm Fay Forms Near North Carolina
  • The storm will track near the East Coast through late week.
  • The main impact will be localized heavy rainfall from coastal parts of the mid-Atlantic to New England.
  • Poor beach conditions and gusty winds are expected along parts of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast coasts.

Tropical Storm Fay has formed just off the coast of North Carolina’s Outer Banks and is likely to bring rainfall, gusty winds and poor beach conditions to parts of the East Coast through late week as it organizes.

A tropical storm warning has been issued for portions of the coast from Cape May, New Jersey northward to Watch Hill, Rhode Island, including Long Island and Long Island Sound.

Fay will bring winds of at least 40 mph to parts of this area, mainly near the coast.

In addition to the wind warnings, flash flood watches have been issued from the Delmarva Peninsula to southern New England.

(MORE: A Previous ‘Fay’ Was a Weird One For Florida)

The system is located a few dozen miles east of the coast of the Outer Banks of North Carolina right now, bringing gusty winds and some rainfall to the Outer Banks. Most of its thunderstorm activity is located east of the system and offshore.

Current Info and Forecast Cone

(The red-shaded area denotes the potential path of the center of the tropical cyclone. It’s important to note that impacts (particularly heavy rain, high surf, coastal flooding, winds) with any tropical cyclone usually spread beyond its forecast path.)

There is still some chance this system stays close enough to the East Coast that land interaction prevents it from developing into a more robust storm.

The formation of Tropical Storm Fay does not change the forecast impacts along the coastline compared to previous forecasts. There will be some gusty winds, rough surf and rip currents along the path of the low.

Forecast Timing

Here’s a general look at the forecast timing through Saturday. Changes are likely to this forecast since there is still significant uncertainty in the exact timing and track of this system near the Eastern Seaboard.

Thursday Night: Areas from eastern North Carolina into the Virginia Tidewater could see rain from Fay. Rough surf and dangerous rip currents are also expected along the coast.

Current Radar, Watches and Warnings

Friday – Friday Night: The low will move near or just offshore from the mid-Atlantic coastline. Bands of rain could affect areas from the Virginia Tidewater to Delaware, New Jersey, New York City, Long Island and southern New England during the day or into the overnight hours. Poor beach conditions, including dangerous rip currents, are expected from parts of the mid-Atlantic coast to Long Island.

Saturday: A slug of heavy rainfall might continue to affect parts of New England and eastern New York. A cold front approaching from the west will also bring showers and storms to other parts of the Northeast.

Forecast Impacts

Rainfall – Locally heavy rainfall will be the main impact from Tropical Storm Fay through Saturday.

Flash flood watches have been issued from the Delmarva Peninsula to southern New England. These areas, which include Philadelphia, were hard hit by rainfall and flooding earlier this week.

Areas from the coastal mid-Atlantic to 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.

Winds – Widespread damaging winds are not expected from this system. But coastal areas from the mid-Atlantic to Long Island and southern New England might see some wind gusts over 30 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 through at least Friday.

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.

Perspective on Tropical Storm Fay

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.

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.

(MORE: The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Isn’t Off to as Busy a Start as It Seems)

While a sixth tropical storm before mid-July is unheard of, previous hurricane seasons have been considerably more impactful.

Not many tropical systems have intensified this close to the mid-Atlantic or Northeast Coast.

Recap: Heavy Rain Impacts the Southeast

On 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.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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