For the tenth time since 1900, there is a tropical system that has made landfall in South Jersey. Tropical Storm Fay made landfall ten miles to the north-northeast of Atlantic City, in Little Egg Harbor Inlet in Ocean County. The last tropical system to make landfall was Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.
Fay is part of a record breaking 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Fay is the earliest "F" storm in recorded history.
8:15 p.m. - Tropical Storm Fay is now centered over Monmouth County, weakening to maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, with the strongest winds well northeast of the center, away from the Garden State.
Fay picked up some forward motion, moving north at 14 mph, with a slight east component to that as well. It should remain a tropical storm until Saturday morning, when it will then be in New England.
7:07 p.m. - For those wondering were there rainfall records, the answer will be no. Sen. Frank S. Farley Marina in Atlantic City got walloped by 5.44 inches of rain in 1959. Atlantic City International Airport was 6.46 inches in the same year.
5:45 p.m.: The tropical storm warnings have been dropped for Cape May County. Atlantic and Ocean counties are still in the warning.
5:00 p.m.: For the tenth time since 1900, there is a tropical system that has made landfall in South Jersey. Tropical Storm Fay made landfall ten miles to the north-northeast of Atlantic City, in Little Egg Harbor Inlet in Ocean County, according to the National Weather Service in Mount Holly.
3:25 p.m.: The flash flood watches have expired in Atlantic, Cumberland and Cape May counties. Ocean County remains in a flash flood watch until 8 p.m.
2:30 p.m.: The flash flood warnings have expired for all of South Jersey. Rainfall from here on our will be scattered.
2:00 p.m.: The latest update by the National Hurricane Center keeps Tropical Storm Fay at 60 mph. Minimum pressure was 999 millibars. The storm sits 25 miles east-southeast of Cape May.
While the NHC has the motion north at 12 mph, there's a little eastward motion to it. Water temperatures offshore are 75 to 80 degrees, well above average and OK for sustaining the strength of the storm.
1:50 p.m.: Landfall is the next aspect of Tropical Storm Fay to occur. The storm, first making a straight line for Cape May County, is now turning to the northeast. This was expected.
The eye of the storm may stay just offshore and skirt Long Beach Island. If it were to make landfall, it'll be the tenth tropical storm or hurricane to strike New Jersey since 1900.
The eye does not have the heavy rains that you typically see in a tropical system. The eye is pretty dry, though tropical storm force winds will be felt along the shore as it makes its closest pass.
1:30 p.m. - The Black Horse Pike in West Atlantic City has a lane closed in each direction from flooding.
12:57 p.m. - All lanes are closed on Route 77 in the Seabrook Farms portion of Upper Deerfield Township due to flooding near Friesburg Road.
12:30 p.m. - Meteorologist Joe Martucci and Staff Writer Molly Bilinski were in Ventnor on Facebook Live, discussing the flooding in town. Up to a foot of water has occurred in spots.
11:27 a.m.: Somers Point has seen multiple areas of flooding from the rains. 2.81 inches of rain has fallen at the New Jersey Weather Network Station in Egg Harbor Township.
11 a.m.: Tropical Storm Fay has strengthened.
Located east of Ocean City, Maryland. Fay now has maximum sustained winds of 60 mph, up from 50 mph in the 8 a.m. update. It has picked up some speed, moving north at 12 mph.
The heaviest, steadiest rain has ended for many. However, the winds will pick up into the day. Sustained winds along the shore should reach tropical storm force.
A landfall in New Jersey is still very much possible, occurring Friday afternoon or evening.
10:42 a.m.: The George Redding Bridge open in both directions, according to Wildwood Police.
10:22 a.m.: Multiple streets are underwater in Stone Harbor from the flooding rains.
10:07 a.m. - Do note that the flooding in South Jersey Friday morning is from rainfall flooding. This doesn't take into account the tides itself. High tides are between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Friday. While most tides will stay out of flood stage, just being high tide alone will increase problems.
9:18 a.m. - Several streets in Sea Isle City are flooding, per police.
9:03 a.m. - There are two flash flood warnings in place for South Jersey as excessive rains have caused roads to flood, as seen in Wildwood and Stone Harbor.
A flash flood warning is in place for Cape May County, south of a line from Sea Isle City to Dennis Township until 2:15 p.m. Friday.
The other warning is in place for area between the Sea Isle City - Dennis Township line to a line from Elwood to Brigantine. That is in effect until 1:00 p.m. Friday.
If you see flooded water, turn around, don't drown. You will not be able to accurately gauge how high the water is. As of 9:03 a.m., 3.22 inches of rain has fallen in Cape May Court House, 3.03 inches in West Cape May and 2.19 inches in Stone Harbor.
8:51 a.m. - Jerry Inderweis, Jr. City Manager for Cape May, captured heavy rain, gusty winds and rough seas in Cape May Harbor, near the Lobster House.
Flooding has begun in South Jersey. This flooding is due to the rainfall itself, not the coastal flooding. Multiple streets in Stone Harbor were underwater already.
As of 8 a.m., the National Hurricane Center has the center of Fay just east-southeast of Ocean City, Maryland. Sustained winds near the center were up to 50 mph, with most of the tropical storm force (39 mph+) winds to the east of the storm. The forecast cone still puts the shore in the possibility of a landfall, the first one since Tropical Storm Irene. The storm has picked up a little forward speed, now moving north at 10 mph.
8:34 a.m.: The George Redding Bridge is closed due to flooding, according to Wildwood police. This flooding is associated with the rain, and not the coastal flooding.
Due to the effects of Tropical Storm Fay, Cape May County Fare Free Transportation has suspended services Friday.
Dialysis services and Meals on Wheels will continue on the regular schedule, according to a news release from the organization. All other services for Friday are canceled. The full weekday schedule will resume on Monday.
Due to impassable flooding, there is no access to the Absecon Home Depot, the Absecon Police Department announced Friday.
The Hamilton Township Police Department on Friday announced the Cove will be closed for the day due to Tropical Storm Fay.
The Cove will reopen at 11 a.m. Saturday, weather permitting.
Cape May County Fare Free Transportation has suspended services Friday to the barrier islands due to the effects of Tropical Storm Fay, according to a news release from the county Department of Tourism and Public Information.
Dialysis services and Meals on Wheels will continue on the regular schedule for all 16 municipalities, and all other services to the mainland communities are on schedule.
The full weekday schedule will resume Monday.
This is our velocity (speed) radar. The shore can reach Tropical Storms winds as those whites move in.— Joe Martucci (@ACPressMartucci) July 10, 2020
That orange box is a special marine warning. Waterspouts or even a weak mainland tornado will be possible. Be on the lookout! pic.twitter.com/lSEQNo0s2d
Tropical Storm Warnings are in place
Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued for the entirety of the Jersey Shore. Maximum sustained winds are 45 mph of as 8 p.m. Thursday, extending out slightly from the center of the storm, which is east of the Outer Banks.
New Jersey is in the forecast cone and a direct landfall is possible. This would be the first time since Tropical Storm Irene in 2011 that a tropical system made landfall in New Jersey, if it were to do so. (Superstorm Sandy turned post-tropical right before crashing near Brigantine). Model guidance keeps the storm anywhere from 100 miles offshore to a track that takes the center over the Delaware Bay and into Cumberland County.
Impacts will be the same regardless of whether it's tropical or not, and the focus should remain on heavy downpours and rip currents Friday.
What are the impacts?
In order of significance — Dangerous rip currents, flooding rains, weak tornadoes, damaging wind, beach erosion and coastal flooding are expected.
That being said, flooding rains and the rip currents are the main areas of significant concerns. A flash flood watch is in effect for all of South Jersey from midnight Friday through 4 p.m., with Ocean County's watch in effect from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday.
All of the other impacts will be relatively minor.
When will this be?
This storm will come and go on Friday. Rip currents will continue to develop into Friday.
The rain will begin early Friday morning, likely between 3 and 6 a.m. Given the tropical or near tropical origins, torrential downpours will likely occur during the day. The heaviest, steadiest rains will fall during the early to mid-morning hours. Winds will pick up during the morning and peak during the afternoon. This wind-swept rain will end Friday evening, likely between 9 p.m. to midnight. Winds will diminish afterwards.
Coastal flooding, which is not a guarantee, could be between the Friday morning and Saturday morning high tides.
A closer look at: rain and tornadoes
Similar conditions to Monday's will be likely in spots Friday, with inches of water on local roadways potentially even stranding cars. In addition, areas of stream and creek flooding will be a concern as well.
We look at precipitable water (PWAT), to get an idea of maximum rainfall potential. PWATs measure how much water is in a column of air if you were to ring it out and measure it up. To determine maximum rainfall totals, double the PWAT to get top end potential.
PWATs Friday will be between 2 to 2.5 inches, nearly as tropical as you can get, which makes torrential downpours likely. Even if it doesn't rain all day, and it likely won't, some places can see 4 to 5 inches. Most will be lower, but this is why non-coastal flooding will be concerning.
As with any tropical system, weak tornadoes are a concern, given the spin in the atmosphere. If a tornado forms, it will be relatively short lived.
A closer look at: coastal flooding
This is where South Jersey catches a break. It's unlikely there will be coastal flooding, though preparing for minor flood stage is wise between the Friday morning and Saturday morning high tides.
The luck comes from the moon. Between the full and new moons, there are astronomically lower tides, reducing the risk. In Atlantic City, the high tide, without the impacts of weather added to it, is 3.62 feet Friday, nearly 2.5 feet below flood stage.
A closer look at: winds
Power outages and downed trees limbs will be possible, but the threat is no greater than a typical nor'easter.
Sustained winds will be 20-30 mph along the shore Friday, strongest during the middle of the day. It will blowing from the southeast, turning to the northeast. Top wind gusts will be near 45 mph, with gales offshore.
On the mainland, expect 15-25 mph sustained winds with wind gusts up to 35 mph. The threat for wind damage will be low here.
A closer look at: rip currents
A high risk of dangerous rip currents will be likely Friday.
All of the rip current ingredients will be met. These include:
Waves at least 2 feet high; waves will be 5 to 7 feet Friday, wave intervals 8 or more seconds at the buoys and winds perpendicular to the land, which will be met early Friday.
Do not swim on unguarded beaches.
Beach erosion will be possible, but it should be relatively minor.
Here are the 2020 Atlantic tropical system names
The Atlantic Hurricane season continued its blistering pace. Edouard, which developed July 6, was the earliest fifth named (with the letter "E") storm in Atlantic Hurricane history, which goes back to 1851. This is according to Philip Klotzbach, meteorologist at Colorado State University, who issues a highly reputable hurricane forecast each year and is used by The Press.
The previous record was held in 2005 with Emily, which occurred on July 12. 2005 holds the record for the most active hurricane season on record in the Atlantic Hurricane basin, with 27 named storms.
However, all of the storms to this point have been tropical storms. Some, like Edouard, likely would not have even been noticed before the satellite era, as they were out to sea and may have been missed by shipping routes.