Tropical Storm Fay (2008)

Tropical Storm Fay (2008)

Infobox Hurricane
Name=Tropical Storm Fay
Type=Tropical storm
Image location=Fay_19_aug_2008_1615Z.jpg

Formed=August 15, 2008
Dissipated=August 26, 2008
1-min winds=55

Fatalities=25 direct, 11 indirect
Areas=Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, Florida
Hurricane season=2008 Atlantic hurricane season

Tropical Storm Fay was a tropical storm and the sixth named storm of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season. Fay formed from a vigorous tropical wave on August 15 over the Dominican Republic. It passed over the island of Hispaniola, into the Gulf of Gonâve, across the island of Cuba, and made landfall on the Florida Keys late in the afternoon of August 18 before veering into the Gulf of Mexico. It again made landfall near Naples, Florida in the early hours of August 19 and progressed northeast through the Florida peninsula, emerging into the Atlantic Ocean near Melbourne on August 20. Extensive flooding took place in parts of Florida as a result of its slow movement. On August 21, it re-entered near Daytona Beach, moving due west across the Panhandle, crossing Gainesville and Panama City, Florida. As it zigzagged from water to land, it became the first storm in recorded history to make landfall in Florida four times. [ ["Fay's 4th Florida landfall is one for record books"] , By BRENDAN FARRINGTON, Associated Press Writer, August 23, 2008] Thirty-six deaths have been blamed on Fay.cite web|author=Brent Kallestad|title=Fay's Lasting Wrath|date=2008-08-26|publisher=The Press Democrat|accessdate=2008-08-26|url=] Damage from Fay was quite extreme, but a specific cost of damage is unknown.

Meteorological history

A tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa on August 7 without any significant convection, with an associated low pressure area moving southwestward away from the coast.It passed just south of the Cape Verde Islands, and tracked generally westward with a subtropical ridge centered to its north over the Azores. [cite web|author=Gladys Rubio|date=2008-08-07|title=Tropical Weather Discussion (2)|publisher=National Hurricane Center|accessdate=2008-08-15|url=] Late on August 9, an area of convection developed in association with the wave. [cite web|author=Blake|date=2008-08-09|title=Tropical Weather Outlook|publisher=National Hurricane Center|accessdate=2008-08-15|url=] With generally favorable conditions for development, the system began slowly organizing, [cite web|author=Knabb|date=2008-08-10|title=Tropical Weather Outlook|publisher=National Hurricane Center|accessdate=2008-08-15|url=] to the extent that on August 10, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) remarked for its potential to become a tropical depression in a few days. [cite web|author=Blake|date=2008-08-10|title=Tropical Weather Outlook (2)|publisher=National Hurricane Center|accessdate=2008-08-15|url=] By August 11, however, the thunderstorm activity became disorganized and limited, [cite web|author=Rhome|date=2008-08-11|title=Tropical Weather Outlook|publisher=National Hurricane Center|accessdate=2008-08-15|url=] though the next day convection reformed by the time it was located about 650 mi (1050 km) east of the Lesser Antilles. [cite web|author=Rhome/Brown|date=2008-08-12|title=Tropical Weather Outlook|publisher=National Hurricane Center|accessdate=2008-08-15|url=] The hurricane hunters first flew into the system on August 12, though the flight only reported a broad area of low pressure. [cite web|author=Blake/Franklin|date=2008-08-12|title=Special Tropical Disturbance Statement|publisher=National Hurricane Center|accessdate=2008-08-15|url=]

After the hurricane hunters' flight, the system became disorganized as environmental conditions became less favorable, [cite web|author=Brown/Pasch|date=2008-08-13|title=Tropical Weather Outlook|publisher=National Hurricane Center|accessdate=2008-08-15|url=] and by late on August 13 the convection was limited and well-removed from the low center. [cite web|author=Franklin|date=2008-08-13|title=Tropical Weather Outlook (2)|publisher=National Hurricane Center|accessdate=2008-08-15|url=] The next day, thunderstorm activity increased and organized, [cite web|author=Knabb|date=2008-08-14|title=Tropical Weather Outlook (2)|publisher=National Hurricane Center|accessdate=2008-08-15|url=] though another hurricane hunters flight confirmed the system did not develop into a tropical cyclone. [cite web|author=Beven|date=2008-08-14|title=Special Tropical Disturbance Statement|publisher=National Hurricane Center|accessdate=2008-08-15|url=] After passing over the northern Lesser Antilles, the system moved over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, maintaining an area of deep convection. [cite web|author=Knabb|date=2008-08-15|title=Tropical Weather Outlook|publisher=National Hurricane Center|accessdate=2008-08-15|url=] It became better defined as it moved through the Mona Passage, and a hurricane hunters flight confirmed the presence of a closed circulation. With flight level wind gusts of 56 mph (91 km/h) reported northeast of the center, the NHC initiated advisories on Tropical Storm Fay late on August 15 as the cyclone moved ashore along eastern Dominican Republic.cite web|author=Beven|date=2008-08-15|title=Tropical Storm Fay Discussion One|publisher=National Hurricane Center|accessdate=2008-08-15|url=] Initially, it was forecast to steadily intensify before and after crossing Cuba, later reaching minimal hurricane status in the eastern Gulf of Mexico; the HWRF hurricane model predicted for Fay to become a strong hurricane off the coast of western Florida.cite web|author=Avila|date=2008-08-16|title=Tropical Storm Fay Discussion Two|publisher=National Hurricane Center|accessdate=2008-08-17|url=]

Upon first becoming a tropical cyclone, Tropical Storm Fay was moving steadily westward over Hispaniola, influenced by a ridge to its north. At around 1200 UTC on August 16, the storm emerged into the Gulf of Gonâve, [cite web|author=Knabb|date=2008-08-16|title=Tropical Storm Fay Public Advisory Three-A|publisher=National Hurricane Center|Accessdate=2008-08-17|url=] with little organized convection near the center.cite web|author=Beven|date=2008-08-16|title=Tropical Storm Fay Discussion Four|publisher=National Hurricane Center|accessdate=2008-08-17|url=] Environmental conditions favored strengthening, and convection quickly developed over the center.cite web|author=Beven|date=2008-08-16|title=Tropical Storm Fay Discussion Five|publisher=National Hurricane Center|accessdate=2008-08-17|url=] By early on August 17, a hurricane hunters flight reported a better organized circulation center, and satellite images displayed well-established outflow within a large convection envelope.cite web|author=Avila|date=2008-08-17|title=Tropical Storm Fay Discussion Six|publisher=National Hurricane Center|accessdate=2008-08-17|url=] After passing near or over southwestern Granma Province in Cuba, upper-level wind shear increased slightly, and the convection diminished near the center. The storm turned more to the northwest, due to a trough weakening the ridge to its north.cite web|author=Beven|date=2008-08-17|title=Tropical Storm Fay Discussion Eight|publisher=National Hurricane Center|accessdate=2008-08-17|url=]

Fay made four Florida landfalls, first at Key West in the late afternoon of August 18, then early the following morning at Cape Romano south of Naples as a 60 mph (96 km/h) tropical storm.cite web|author=Beven/Pasch|date=2008-08-18|title=Tropical Storm Fay Tropical Cyclone Update|publisher=National Hurricane Center|accessdate=2008-08-18|url=] Later that day, while crossing central Florida, Fay unexpectedly strengthened to 65 mph (106 km/h) over land with a pressure of 986 mb,cite web|author=Avila|date=2008-08-19|title=Tropical Storm Fay Intermediate Advisory 16A|publisher=National Hurricane Center|accessdate=2008-08-19|url=] which is a stronger intensity than Fay had ever obtained over open ocean. The storm developed an eye feature, and continued to hold its strength for the rest of the day.cite web|author=Avila|date=2008-08-19|title=Tropical Storm Fay Discussion Seventeen|publisher=National Hurricane Center|accessdate=2008-08-19|url=] After many hours of land interaction, Fay began to weaken.cite web|author=Pasch|date=2008-08-19|title=Tropical Storm Fay Discussion Eighteen|publisher=National Hurricane Center|accessdate=2008-08-19|url=] Fay regained some strength, however, after leaving land at Melbourne and heading northward over the warm Atlantic Ocean waters, only to be deflected westward as it encountered a high pressure ridge. This resulted in another landfall at Flagler Beach in the afternoon of August 21. Fay then emerged into the northeastern Gulf of Mexico and made its fourth landfall on the morning of August 23 near Carrabelle in the Florida Panhandle. Fay narrowly missed making yet another landfall, the center staying barely onshore while passing Panama City and St. Andrews Bay.



On August 15, the weather disturbance that would become Fay made landfall on Hispaniola. The system developed into a tropical storm while producing heavy rains on the island, prompting a major flash flood threat. The storm caused minor damage in Dominican Republic including falling trees and flooding, this caused most of the flights into and out of the country to be canceled.cite web|author=JONATHAN M. KATZ|date=2008-08-15|title=Tropical Storm Fay Forms Over Dominican Republic|publisher=ABC News|accessdate=2008-08-16|url=] At least four people were killed after being swept away by flood waters in the Dominican Republic.cite web|author=AFP|title=Killer storm powers into hurricane mode for Florida landfall
year=2008|publisher=Herald Sun|accessdate=2008-08-16|url=,21985,24204909-663,00.html?from=public_rss

In Haiti, Fay's winds and rainfall damaged the agricultural sector, including rice fields and banana crops. One person died after being swept away by flood-waters while trying to cross a swollen river.cite web|author=Evans Sanon|title=Tropical Storm Leaves 4 Dead in Haiti, DR
year=2008|publisher=ABC News|accessdate=2008-08-16|url=
] Two infants were killed when a bus flipped in Haiti. [cite web|url=|title=Haiti bus overturns in Fay-flooded river|last=Associated Press/Yahoo! News UK|date=2008-08-18|publisher=Yahoo! UK|language=English|accessdate=2008-08-18] In total, ten deaths were blamed on Fay in Haiti. [cite web|url=,0,5881208.story?track=rss|title=2 drowned babies on Haiti bus raise Fay toll to 14
last=Evans Sanon|date=2008-08-19|publisher=Sun-Sentinel

In Jamaica, one person was killed as a result of a vehicle being swept away in flood waters. In total, 63 people died in the Caribbean.


During seven days in Florida, August 18–24, 2008, fourteen people died and thousands of homes plus roads were damaged, from 60-mph (97-km/h) winds and rain waters up to 5 feet (1.5m) deep, with flooded rivers or tornadoes, as Fay traveled through the entire state: heading northward from the Florida Keys, turning westward off Daytona Beach, and finally leaving the Pensacola area into Alabama, early on August 24. Returning from Mississippi towards Tennessee, Fay continued to dump heavy rains around Pensacola, Tallahassee, and Panama City, Florida even during August 25.

While Fay was moving across South-Central Florida, a tornado, rated EF2 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, [cite web|url=|title=Preliminary Storm Damage Survey Results for Wellington Tornado|date=2008-08-21|publisher=National Weather Service|accessdate=2008-08-21] took place after landfall in Wellington, Florida, where significant damage was reported including doors and windows blown off houses, many trees knocked down and reports of a weak building destroyed. [cite web|url=|title=Storm Reports for August 18, 2008|date=2008-08-19|publisher=Storm Prediction Center|accessdate=2008-08-19] Another tornado damaged 51 homes with nine of them rendered uninhabitable in Barefoot Bay. [cite web|last =Price|first =Stephen|coauthors =J. Ash and B. Cotterell|url=|title=Updated: Tropical Storm Fay approaches Florida's east coast|date=2008-08-20|publisher="Tallahassee Democrat"|accessdate=2008-08-20] According to the St. Lucie County Public Safety Department, about 8,000 homes were damaged from flooding. [cite web|url=|title=Fay drenches parts of Florida; 8,000 homes flooded|date=2008-08-20|publisher=CNN|accessdate=2008-08-20] The city of Melbourne shattered a 50-year-old rainfall record after receiving convert|11|in|cm of rain in a 24 hour period. [cite web|url=|title=Fay Dumps Record-Breaking Rain; Flood Victims Warned Of Alligator Swimming In Streets |date=2008-08-20|publisher=WKMG-TV|accessdate=2008-08-20] About 80 neighborhoods in Melbourne were flooded, and a "couple hundred" homes in southeast Melbourne were filled with three to four feet of water, according to a press statement.cite web| last =Lundy| first =Sarah| coauthors =W. Mariano| title =Fay brings flooding to Volusia, Seminole; Brevard estimates damage at more than $10 million| publisher ="Orlando Sentinel"| date =2008-08-22| url =,0,510677.story| accessdate =2008-08-22 ] A tornado touched down in Stuart on U.S. 1 at Monroe Street, flipping a truck and damaging a gas station. [ [ TCPALM: Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers: Tornado touches down near Monroe St., U.S. 1 in Stuart] ] A 28-year-old kite surfer was critically injured in Fort Lauderdale when winds associated with a Tropical Storm Fay feeder band slammed him face-first into the ground and then dragged him through streets until he hit a building, which was filmed by a WFOR camera crew. [cite web|url=|title=After Kite Boarder’s Accident, Some Say Winds Were Too Much|date=2008-08-19|publisher=New York Times|accessdate=2008-08-19]

Areas of the state received up to convert|25|in|cm of rain, causing serious flooding. Native wildlife, including alligators, were seen in flooded neighborhoods after high water forced them from their habitat. Hundreds of homes were flooded in Brevard and St. Lucie counties; some locations were inundated with up to convert|5|ft|m of standing water. [cite web|author=Brian Skoloff|title=Florida Suffers 'Catastrophic Flooding' |year=2008|publisher=Associated Press|accessdate=2008-08-21|url=] Early estimates from Brevard county show $10 to $12 million in damages to homes and infrastructure. Tropical Storm Fay resulted in the drowning of one person swimming off Neptune Beach and another swimmer in Duval County. Meanwhile, another 3 were killed in traffic accidents. [cite web|author=BRIAN SKOLOFF|title=Fay kills an extra 3,Death toll in Florida becomes 5|year=2008|publisher=Yahoo News UK/AP|accessdate=2008-08-22|url=] On August 21, President George W. Bush declared the entire state of Florida a Federal Disaster Area. [cite web|title=Woman drowns as Fay comes ashore again|date=2008-08-21|publisher=CNN|accessdate=2008-08-21|url=]
Seminole County also got hard hit by floods. Seminole County Public Schools were closed due to many roads being impassable. Many rivers in the county such as the St. Johns River, the Econlockhatchee River, and the Little Econlockhatchee River jumped their banks. Riverside Park in Oviedo is under four feet of flood water due to the Little Econlockhatchee River. On the evening of August 22, a tornado damaged four homes and a bridge in Lake Wales. [cite web|title=Tornado Touches Down in Polk County|date=2008-08-22|publisher=WFTV|accessdate=2008-08-23|url=]

After moving into the Florida Panhandle, five more people were killed as a result of Fay in Florida (all indirect) [] , including an electrocution which happened to an electrical worker doing repairs in Gadsden County. [cite web|title=Fay Now Blamed For 11 Florida Deaths|date=2008-08-23|publisher=WKRG|accessdate=2008-08-23|url=] Damage in Florida was very extensive, but a specific cost is unknown.

Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi

Heavy rain was also reported in parts of Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. A young boy was killed in Grady County, Georgia when he was swept away in a drainage ditch by floodwaters. [cite web|title=Boy Drowns As Fay Soaks South Georgia|date=2008-08-23|publisher=WGCL-TV|accessdate=2008-08-24|url=] Another drowning death took place in Elmore County, Alabama as a result of the weakening Fay. [cite web|title=Death blamed on Fay|date=2008-08-25|publisher=Press-Register|accessdate=2008-08-26|url=]

Fay persisted as a tropical storm from its first landfall until weakening to a tropical depression on August 23. It eventually weakened to a remnant low over Alabama on August 26, from which 8 tornadoes were spawned in Alabama and 6 in Georgia, injuring two in Commerce, Georgia [cite web|title=Public Information Statement|date=2008-08-27|publisher=NWS Birmingham, AL|accessdate=2008-08-27|url=] [cite web|title=Public Information Statement|date=2008-08-27|publisher=NWS Atlanta, GA|accessdate=2008-08-27|url=] .

The heavy and persistent rains associated with Fay, however, helped to temporarily alleviate extreme drought conditions over northern Georgia, northern Alabama, and eastern Tennessee. [cite web|title=Fay brings relief to areas in drought|date=2008-08-26|publisher=USA Today|accessdate=2008-09-08|url=]


Fay was the first storm on record to hit the same U.S. state on four separate occasions, beating a record set by Hurricane Gordon of 1994, and was just the third storm on record to hit the U.S. at least 3 times, the third was Hurricane Juan in 1985, although Juan did not hit the same state three times; one of its landfalls was in Alabama, and the other 2 were in Louisiana. [cite web
author =Associated Press
title =Tropical Storm Fay Makes Fourth Florida Landfall; Death Toll Rises to 10
publisher =FOX News
date =2008-08-23
url =,2933,409321,00.html
accessdate =2008-08-28
] It also had the third highest ACE of any storm in the Atlantic that didn't reach hurricane strength, with a total of 6.72, behind Tropical Storm Nicholas of 2003 with 7.25 and Tropical Storm Laura in 1971 with 8.61.

The two highest rainfall amounts recorded were convert|27.65|in|mm at Windover Farms, convert|8|mi|km northwest of Melbourne, Florida, and convert|27.50|in|mm at Thomasville, Georgia. This made Fay one of the wettest single storms for the southeast U.S.

ee also

*List of Atlantic hurricane seasons
*2008 Atlantic hurricane season


External links

* [ HPC rainfall page for 2008 Tropical Cyclones]
* [ National Hurricane Center Website]
* [ National Hurricane Center's Atlantic Tropical Weather Outlook]
* [ TS Fay Spotlight] from the Central Florida Hurricane Center

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