PHILADELPHIA - As Tropical Storm Fay continues its northward trajectory, rain will clear the area overnight into Saturday. All warnings and watches for our area have been canceled.
Tropical Storm Fay made landfall Friday afternoon just north-northeast of Atlantic City, N.J., the National Hurricane Center stated in its 5 p.m. advisory.
The storm's winds have weakened a bit to 50 mph sustained, with higher gusts. Those top winds have already been felt in various communities along the Delaware and New Jersey coasts, and nearly 6 inches of rain has fallen in some areas.
The low pressure system became a tropical storm Thursday off the coast of North Carolina and is still moving to the north, now at a pace of 14 mph, up from 10 mph earlier this morning. The minimum pressure has remained mostly steady at 998 mb.
Sustained winds of 60 mph were reported Friday morning by reconnaisance aircraft that located the storm's center. Tropical-storm-force winds were extending outward up to 140 miles from the storm's center for most of the day, but reached up to 185 miles away -- mainly to the northeast and southeast of the center -- right around the time of landfall.
Peak wind gusts locally were 57 mph in Long Neck, Del., 55 mph on the Delaware Bay, and 53 mph in Strathmere, N.J., by late afternoon.
Weakening of the storm should continue now that it has moved inland, and it could race to the north and east as it becomes a depression and eventually heads into Canada.
Our local National Weather Service office in Mount Holly reported that rain was tapering at the coast this afternoon, but gusty winds will remain with us into the early evening.
Flash Flood Warnings are posted for parts of the area, including one that covers Philadelphia, Camden and Wilmington until after sundown. Move to higher ground if you are in a low-lying area. Flash Flood Watches are up for almost the entire area.
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The highest observed rainfall totals in our area, so far, have been in southern Delaware, where they've picked up almost 6 inches of rain. Visibility is also poor in some locales.
FOX 29 Meteorologist Scott Williams says to expect flash flooding from on-and-off downpours. We could still see wind gusts in the neighborhood of 45 mph. Dangerous rip currents are also occurring, and small craft advisories are posted for some waterways.
Keep checking the forecast for the latest details.
Fay is the earliest sixth-named storm on record, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach. The previous record was Franklin on July 22, 2005, Klotzbach tweeted.
Two named storms formed before the official June 1 start of the hurricane season. None of this season’s previous five named storms strengthened into hurricanes.
After Friday's rain, weekend temps will be right back in the 90s, potentially kicking off another heat wave as we take a look at the forecast early next week.
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