Tonight, Fay will approach the Florida Keys, gaining strength and becoming a hurricane before it makes landfall on the Gulf Coast of Florida, in the vicinity of Cape Coral and Fort Myers.
The east coast of Florida, the Florida Keys and points inland are under various tropical storm and hurricane watch and warning advisories. For the latest, check in with the National Hurricane Center, or local emergency preparedness agencies.
The storm has affected the price of oil, as traders react to the impending storm. The price of a barrel was up above $114 in London trading, after Royal Dutch Shell evacuated about 360 workers from its rigs in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
Tropical Storm Fay's biggest threat to life comes in the form of rain:
"Fay is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 4 to 8 inches over much of Cuba, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches. These rains could produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides," according to the National Hurricane Center. "Heavy rains are expected to spread across South Florida today. Storm total amounts of 4 to 8 inches, with maximum amounts of 10 inches, are possible for the Florida Keys and South Florida. Rainfall accumulations of 1 to 3 inches are possible in Northwestern Bahamas.
Forecasters have predicted an above-average hurricane season for the Atlantic, where the storms most damaging to the U.S. form, could spawn 12 to 16 named storms, including six to nine hurricanes and as many as five major hurricanes. The Atlantic, before Fay, had seen five named storms, and two hurricanes (Bertha and Dolly), one of them a major storm (Dolly).
1. Tropical Storm Arthur formed quickly on May 31 off Belize, lost tropical storm strength in fewer than 24 hours, and brought punishing rains of 10-15 inches to parts of the Yucatán Peninsula, including Mexico and Guatemala.
2. Hurricane Bertha formed as a tropical storm July 3 in the far eastern Atlantic, then debuted as the Atlantic's first hurricane July 7 and quickly grew to major hurricane status. By the time it affected land, July 14 in Bermuda, it was a strong tropical storm, causing rough surf and 3-5 inches of rain. It broke the record for longest-lived July storm and on July 18 reformed into a hurricane.
3. Tropical Storm Cristobal formed on July 19 off the coast of the Carolinas. The first named storm to threaten the U.S. coast, Cristobal threatened 3-5 inches of rain and strong storm surges across South and North Carolina.
4. Hurricane Dolly reached Category 2 strength in the Gulf of Mexico before making landfall near the Texas-Mexico border July 23, 2008. Heavy rains and wind led to at least one death, flooding and damage in Texas and in neighboring states that may exceed $1 billion.
4. Tropical Storm Edouard formed August 3 in the Gulf of Mexico and though forecasters predicted strengthening and it passed by critical oil infrastructure, it was largely welcomed for relieving drought conditions in some parts of Texas and Louisiana.
5. Tropical Storm Fay formed August 15 off the coast of the Dominican Republic and killed several people there, in Haiti and in Cuba, according to some accounts. It should reach hurricane strength before making landfall in Florida.
Gustav - Hanna - Ike - Josephine - Kyle - Laura - Marco - Nana - Omar - Paloma - Rene - Sally - Teddy - Vicky - Wilfred
1. Tropical Storm Alma brought heavy rains and winds to the Central American nations of Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala after forming May 29.
2. Hurricane Boris formed near Baja California and headed west into the Pacific, before reaching hurricane strength July 1.
3. Tropical Storm Cristina formed near Hawaii June 29 but dissipated before making landfall.
4. Tropical Storm Douglas formed July 2 and threatened to dump heavy rains on portions of southwest Mexico.
5. Hurricane Elida formed July 12 as a tropical storm and became the season's second Pacific hurricane July 14 when it became a weak Category 1 storm tracking westward from Mexico.
6. Hurricane Fausto formed as a tropical storm July 16 off the coast of Mexico. Like other 2008 Pacific hurricanes, the third of the year did not affect land.
7. Hurricane Genevieve formed in the Pacific Ocean, more than 580 miles off the coast of Mexico, on July 25, 2008. The fourth hurricane in the eastern Pacific, it did not affect land.
8. Hurricane Hernan formed August 6 hundreds of miles from Baja California and reached hurricane strength Aug. 8. On Aug. 9, it reached Category 3 status, the first major hurricane of 2008 in the Pacific. It lost hurricane Strength Aug. 11 and dissipated Aug. 12.
9. Tropical Storm Iselle formed August 13.
Julio - Karina - Lowell - Marie - Norbert - Odile - Polo - Rachel - Simon - Trudy - Vance - Winnie - Xavier - Yolanda - Zeke
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