Fay Center Stuck Onshore

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:27 PM GMT on August 20, 2008

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Forecasting the intensity of Fay continues to be difficult. Last night, Fay moved very slowly, and at times was almost stationary. The result was that Fay's center never emerged fully out into the Atlantic. Instead, Fay continued to weaken as a storm normal should over land. Winds have fallen, central pressure is closer to tropical depression strength, and there is no eye structure left.

The current ragged look is best demonstrated on radar:




Figure 1. Melbourne NEXRAD Base Reflectivity.

The Forecast
Fay may finally move over water later today for a short time, which could allow for some strengthening. Land interaction and the fact that the center isn't fully over water both are restricting chances for intensification. Right now rain bands seem to have intensified slightly on the southern side of the storm, though. Chances of hurricane strength are very limited (<10 %). Fay is the "Joker" after all, so stay tuned. Shortly after moving off Cape Canaveral, Fay will drift back inland on a northwest or westerly track. Heavy rain will continue to be the biggest threat to Florida, with highest amounts hitting the northern third of the state, especially near the Atlantic Coast.



Elsewhere in the Tropics
Invest 94L has limited thunderstorm activity this morning. Dry air, and a future full of wind shear gives 94L a smaller and smaller chance of developing as the days pass.

Fay approaching Flagler Beach pier (HurricaneDT)
Fay approaching Flagler Beach pier

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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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