Tropical Storm Fay 2008-6

Fay Remains Well Organized over Florida

At 10:00pm CDT –

– a Tropical Storm Warning continues for the east coast of Florida
from North of Jupiter Inlet to Flagler Beach.

– a Hurricane Watch continues for the Florida east coast north of
Flagler Beach to Altamaha Sound, Georgia.

– the center of Tropical Storm Fay is located 30 miles south-southwest
of Melbourne, Florida. Movement is generally towards the
north-northeast at 7mph and a gradual turn towards the north is
expected later tonight. On this course Fay will emerge over the
Atlantic on Wednesday. Maximum sustained winds are near 50mph and Fay
will continue to weaken until it emerges into the Atlantic. Minimum
surface pressure is 9990mb.

– tropical storm force winds extend outwards up to 140 miles from the center.

– Fay may become a hurricane if it can remain organized.

Discussion:

Fay has turned into a fascinating tropical system as it strengthened
shortly before landfall and then over Florida. Not a real shocker
with the Everglades, but still pretty neat.

The 18z/00z model guidance is tightly clustered on Fay entering the
Atlantic and then stalling about 50 miles off shore. This is
reasonable given the weakening steering currents. Problems then
develop as the track of Fay becomes very uncertain. The majority of
the models take Fay into Georgia within a few days. However, it has
to be noted that the GFS ensembles loop Fay back over Florida and into
the Gulf. As has been noted previously, getting too much into the
forecast track is pointless.

Intensity wise, Fay has been awesome the past few hours. RADAR is
indicating that the inner eyewall has recently collapsed, but Fay is
only 30 miles from the Atlantic. Due to how well organized the system
is this evening, would expect strengthening to commence shortly after
moving offshore. Convection is noted in all quadrants with decent
outflow. The slow movement of Fay will pose a serious flooding threat
and at this point that is the main story. However, the potential for
Fay to become a hurricane cannot be ignored.

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About Putnam Reiter

Putnam has been storm chasing since 1990 and is a co-founder of Hook-Echo.com. For his day job, Putnam works in emergency management for information technology.
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