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Update 6:30 p.m. July 10:

Tropical Storm Fay had made landfall just north-northeast of Atlantic City, New Jersey as of the National Hurricane Center’s 5 p.m. briefing, with maximum sustained winds about 50 miles per hour, a decrease from this afternoon. Fay is expected to weaken further as it continues to move northward over land, passing over New York City later this evening.

The storm was 170 miles southwest of Montauk Point as of 5 p.m. and is moving northward at 14 miles per hour. It is expected to move more quickly and in a slightly more north-northeastward direction overnight before weakening to a tropical depression by Saturday morning. Tropical storm force winds now extend outward 185 miles from the center of the storm.

Update 12:30 p.m. July 10:

Tropical Storm Fay’s maximum sustained wind speed has increased to 60 miles per hour and is moving in a north-northeast direction at a faster clip of 12 miles per hour as of the National Hurricane Center’s 11 a.m. public advisory.

As of that time, the storm was 230 miles southwest of Montauk Point, just off the Delmarva peninsula, with a minimum central pressure of 999 millibars, and the center of the storm was heading northward toward New York City, with tropical storm force winds extending 140 miles outward from the center of the storm.

The storm is now forecast to bring 2 to 5 inches of rain, with isolated areas up to 7 inches, to the eastern seaboard.

Update 8 a.m. July 10:

The National Hurricane Center reported at 8 a.m. Friday that a new report from an Air Force hurricane hunter put Tropical Storm Fay about 300 miles south-southwest of Montauk Point, moving northward at about 10 miles per hour, an increase from the overnight speed of 8 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds are at 50 miles per hour, with “little change in strength” expected overnight and into Saturday. Tropical storm force winds extend 140 miles out from the eye, with a minimum central pressure of 999 millibars.

Original Story Follows:

A tropical storm that formed off the Carolina coast late Thursday is expected to impact Eastern Long Island this afternoon into Saturday, and the National Weather Service is urging East Enders to prepare for damaging rain and wind, though it puts the risk of coastal flooding at “minor.”

The storm is expected to bring rip currents and localized dune erosion to Long Island’s South Shore Friday.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for the region at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday, in effect from 6 a.m. Friday through Friday evening, and placed Long Island, New York City and southern Connecticut under a tropical storm warning as of 12:05 a.m. Friday, warning of winds up to 57 miles per hour.

The National Hurricane Center issued its first advisory on the storm, named Fay, at 5 p.m. Thursday after reconnaissance aircraft reported the storm had reached the threshold of sustained winds of 39 miles per hour to constitute a tropical storm.

The storm is forecast to arrive on Long Island this afternoon into this evening, bringing with it “3 to 5 inches of rain with isolated totals of 8 inches along and near the track across the mid-Atlantic states into southeast New York and southern New England,” according to the National Hurricane Center’s 11 p.m. Thursday advisory on the storm. “These rains may result in flash flooding where the heaviest amounts occur.”

The National Weather Service’s Flash Flood Watch reports that “torrential rainfall within a short period of time will be possible and this could lead to flooding of low lying, urban and poor drainage areas.”

The National Hurricane Center reported in its 2 a.m. Friday advisory that an Air Force reserve hurricane hunter aircraft performed reconnaissance on the storm late Thursday evening, finding maximum sustained winds about 45 miles per hour and that the storm was moving north at about 8 miles per hour, from a position about 350 miles south-southwest of Montauk Point.

Tropical storm-force winds extended outward up to 140 miles from the eye of the storm, mainly to the east and southeast. The minimum central pressure was at 1005 millibars.

“Fay is currently over the Gulf Stream and within an area of light to moderate westerly shear caused by an upper-level trough to its west and southwest,” according to the National Hurricane Center’s 11 p.m. Thursday discussion on the storm. “This is producing an environment that should allow a little strengthening for the next 12 to 24 hours. After that the storm should weaken as it passes over cooler waters north of the Gulf Stream, followed by landfall over the northeastern United States.”

According to the National Hurricane Center’s 2 a.m. Friday advisory “isolated tornadoes are possible today over portions of New Jersey, southeast New York and southern New England.”

In addition, they reported that “minor coastal flooding is possible along the coast for portions of the Tropical Storm Warning area,” with possible inundation of one foot or less during the Friday afternoon and evening high tide cycles.

Here is the high tide information for areas throughout the East End for the next two days:

July 10
Plum Gut Harbor: 2:07 a.m., 2:43 p.m.
Montauk Harbor: 1:15 a.m., 1:51 p.m.
Greenport: 2:44 a.m., 3:20 p.m.
Mattituck Inlet: 3:35 a.m., 4:05 p.m.
Sag Harbor: 2:39 a.m., 3:15 p.m.
New Suffolk: 4:06 a.m., 4:42 p.m.
South Jamesport: 4:13 a.m., 4:49 p.m.
Shinn. Bay Entrance: 1:18 a.m., 1:56 p.m.
Shinn. Inlet: 12:05 p.m.

July 11
Plum Gut Harbor: 2:57 a.m., 3:35 p.m.
Montauk Harbor: 2:05 a.m., 2:43 p.m.
Greenport: 3:34 a.m., 4:12 p.m.
Mattituck Inlet: 4:24 a.m., 4:53 p.m.
Sag Harbor: 3:29 a.m., 4:07 p.m.
New Suffolk: 4:56 a.m., 5:34 p.m.
South Jamesport: 5:03 a.m., 5:41 p.m.
Shinn. Bay Entrance: 2:04 a.m., 2:41 p.m.
Shinn. Inlet: 12:13 a.m., 12:50 p.m.

Busy Hurricane Season Expected

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center issued a forecast in late May that it expected a busier than usual Atlantic hurricane season, with 13 to 19 named storms and three to six major hurricanes. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms.

Fay is the sixth named storm so far this season, which lasts from June 1 to Nov. 30, with the peak of the season usually occurring between August and October.

NOAA reported in late May that “El Niño Southern Oscillation conditions are expected to either remain neutral or to trend toward La Niña, meaning there will not be an El Niño present to suppress hurricane activity.”

On Thursday, NOAA issued a La Niña watch, warning that a 50 to 55 percent chance of La Niña could lead to more frequent and stronger Atlantic hurricanes this fall.

“Social distancing and other CDC guidance to keep you safe from Covid-19 may impact the disaster preparedness plan you had in place, including what is in your go-kit, evacuation routes, shelters and more. With tornado season at its peak, hurricane season around the corner, and flooding, earthquakes and wildfires a risk year-round, it is time to revise and adjust your emergency plan now,” said Carlos Castillo, acting deputy administrator for resilience at FEMA, in the May 21 NOAA report on the upcoming hurricane season. “Natural disasters won’t wait, so I encourage you to keep Covid-19 in mind when revising or making your plan for you and your loved ones, and don’t forget your pets. An easy way to start is to download the FEMA app today.”

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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