Portions of coastal Florida are being drenched as Tropical Storm Fay stalls before its third landfall in U.S. territory. Gov. Charlie Crist called the flooding "catastrophic," according to the Associated Press, after the storm soaked the state for a third straight day, flooding hundreds of homes.
The storm already killed more than a dozen people on its way through the Caribbean, and made landfalls in the Florida Keys and on the Gulf coast of Florida. This third U.S. landfall, on the east coast of Florida south of the Georgia border, shows how destructive a storm can be even if it does not reach hurricane strength. While we dwelled on the prospects of Fay reaching hurricane strength, measured by wind speed, it began dropping copious amounts of water as it slowly moved into and over Florida, and then boomeranged back for another landfall after acquiring more moisture in the open Atlantic.
Fay is expected to retain tropical storm strength she currently packs 60 mph winds until early Friday morning as she moves across northern Florida. Then, she'll dissipate into a tropical depression and continue west into southern Georgia.
National Hurricane Center
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, including Fay, has seen six 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 and in Haiti before drenching the Florida Keys and then Florida's west coast on Aug. 19. It could reach hurricane strength on Florida's east coast before striking the state again.
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
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.