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Tropical Storm Fay Makes Landfall in New Jersey!

By Team Morecast

After just becoming a named storm on Thursday afternoon, Tropical Storm Fay made landfall along the coast of New Jersey on Friday afternoon. Fay, the sixth named storm of the 2020 Atlantic Basin hurricane season, has broken the record for the earliest in a season that a sixth storm has formed. This record is just the latest in a series of broken records for the already active 2020 season. The previous record for earliest sixth storm formation was set on July 22, 2005 with Tropical Storm Franklin.

Fay has brought flooding rains, along with gusty winds, and high surf up and down the Mid-Atlantic coast from Maryland to New York. Although the highest wind gusts over land did not exceed 60 mph (97 kph), peaking at 57 mph (92 kph) in Manasquan, New Jersey, they have proven strong enough to bring down trees and power lines throughout the area. This had led to thousands of power outages across portions of New Jersey and Delaware.

Rainfall amounts across the region have averaged between 2-5 inches (51-127 mm), with the highest total coming in at 5.84 inches (148 mm) in Mullica Hill, New Jersey. The heavy rain has led to widespread street flooding in cities such as Newark, New Jersey, and New York City. The flooding turned subway platforms in New York city into cascading waterfalls at numerous stations, including the famed Herald Square station.

In the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, tropical systems do not occur very frequently, and when they do, it’s usually later in the season. The last two to effect the region were Irene and Sandy in 2011 and 2012 respectively. To have a storm form this far north in latitude, and strengthen, the way Fay did, is rather unprecedented. The fact that this happened in July is even more unusual.