Tropical Storm Fay: Earliest ‘F’ named storm in history

Weather Blog

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t throw another notable and interesting weather event at us, it just did. After all, we’re only half way through the year with plenty of summer still ahead, and it’s not done stirring the pot just yet. This time we’ve got another Tropical Storm to discuss, and this one formed much closer to home than Cristobal. 

This season we’ve already had six tropical systems and we’re only in the second month of Hurricane season. While it may seem like an unusually busy start, it sort of is, however all of the storms that have happened thus far have all been short lived, so we’re simply going through the list quicker than normal; a record early start overall on a seasonal perspective. 

Here are some facts about Fay:

As of 11 a.m. Friday, Tropical Storm Fay is located across the eastern coast of Delaware and New Jersey. It has max sustained winds at 50 knots (60 mph), a minimum central pressure of 999 millibars, and it is currently moving north at 10 knots (12 mph).

The big headline about Fay is that it is the earliest “F” named storm EVER on record. Our Atlantic Hurricane season started off with two tropical systems: Arthur and Bertha that formed in May BEFORE the official start date of Hurricane season, which runs from June 1st to November 30th. Then we saw Cristobal and Edouard that became the 3rd and 5th earliest named storms on record for the season.

Fay Forecast


Flash flood warnings have already been in place for many areas along the coast with heavy rainfall expected from Delaware, New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, Long Island, and across southern New England.

Tropical Storm warnings are in effect for today and into tonight for the coasts of Delaware, New Jersey, portions of New York including Long Island, and Connecticut for Tropical Storm force winds to last through this evening. Rochester will not be seeing any impacts from Fay, but will merely see some additional light cloud cover later this Friday evening.

As far as WNY goes, surprisingly enough our next dose of much needed rainfall will not be from Fay, but from a weak frontal passage passing through tomorrow bringing chances for scattered showers and storms Saturday afternoon.

2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook

According to NOAA and the CPC there is a 60% likelihood of having an above normal season for Hurricane activity in the Atlantic for the rest of 2020. In their discussion they discuss a number of possible factors to this that include warmer than average sea surface temperatures across the Atlantic and Caribbean, as well as reduced vertical wind shear in the atmosphere. Hurricanes love to thrive on warm ocean waters to fuel its energy from, and having reduced wind shear means there are less winds to break the storm apart, or prevent the beginning stages of a potential tropical system to organize and strengthen.

With what seems like such an eventful start to the year already, it will be interesting to see how the rest of the Atlantic Hurricane season will play out.

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