Fay transitioned from a Sub-Tropical to Tropical storm this morning as the upper level low moved further to the southwest of the storm allowing wind shear to decrease a little more so the storm became more symmetric and the surface structure became more concentrated near the center which are characteristics of a more tropical cyclone. This was supported by several satellite based observations and Air Force reserve reconnaissance flights into Fay. Southeasterly shear and some dry air continue to plague the storm keeping the heaviest convection to the north/northwest of the center and slowing intensification. This shear is expected to remain in the low-moderate range this afternoon, then begin to increase again tonight as Fay passes Bermuda to the near east.
As of 12pm Bermuda time, Fay was a strong tropical storm with 70mph (60kt) 1-minute maximum sustained winds with higher gusts. Minimum central pressure was near 991mb. Fay was located about 305miles south of Bermuda and was moving north at 16mph.
Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for Bermuda which means that tropical storm conditions are expected within he next 12-24 hours in this case. Tropical Storm force winds are 39mph 1-minute sustained winds, or higher.
Expected impacts have been adjusted to account for the stronger storm and a slight shift to the west in track – taking Fay closer to the island.
- Strong east winds increasing to Tropical Storm force and backing northeast this evening. Near-Tropical Storm force, or Tropical Storm force northeasterly winds continue and back north-northwesterly tonight, then begin to decrease early Sunday morning. Winds will likely be strongest at elevation and in areas exposed to winds from the northeast through north-northwest. Expect winds 35-45mph (30-40kts) with gusts up to 65mph (55kts). These winds could result in isolated power outages.
- Additionally, if the core of Fay’s strongest winds intersect part or all of the island, even stronger winds are possible: over 60mph (50kts) with gusts to 85mph (75kts). The current forecast has this region of strongest winds missing the island to the east.
- Rough seas caused by a combination of large swells from Fay and wind driven waves will result in very dangerous sea states for mariners and beach-goers, particularly along south shore.
- Heavy rain is likely and could lead to flash flooding in low-lying and poor drainage areas particularly around high tide.