Tropical Storm Fay, which churned up the East Coast toward New York Friday, has become the earliest cyclone in the Atlantic to reach the letter F in the official list of storm names, according to AccuWeather meteorologists.
Fay is the sixth named storm of this year’s hurricane season, breaking the record for the previous earliest “F”- named storm, which was set on July 21, 2005, the weather experts said.
“One reason we’re seeing storms earlier this year is that the Atlantic waters are warmer than average, and that helps storms develop. There’s also high pressure in the area,” said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alan Reppert.
So far, tropical storms this season have included Arthur and Bertha, which formed in May — before the official start of hurricane season on June 1 — followed by Cristobal and Edouard.
On Friday, strong winds pelted New Jersey’s southern coastline as the National Hurricane Center warned the storm could produce 2 to 4 inches of rain along with possible flash flooding in New York and New England.
The storm, which had sustained winds of at least 40 miles per hour, was expected to make landfall near Atlantic City Friday night and sweep north early Saturday, causing rainfall and poor beach conditions in New York, Reppert said.
“I’d prepare by bringing in things from outside like umbrellas and patio chairs, and don’t venture outside unless you have to,” Reppert said.
Fay formed Thursday afternoon near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and warnings have been issued in Fenwick Island, Delaware to Watch Hill, Rhode Island and Long Island.
Isolated tornadoes are also possible in parts of New Jersey, southeast New York and southern New England, Reppert said.