Weather Nerd

Fay finally weakens

After strengthening over land for more than half a day, Tropical Storm Fay finally began to deteriorate yesterday evening, and this morning, as it sits over Cape Canaveral, it looks like a shadow of its former self. Top sustained winds are down to 45 mph (from an overland peak of 65 mph), and pressure is up to 994 mb.

Although Hurricane Watches are still in effect along the Florida and Georgia coasts, Fay no longer appears a serious threat to reach hurricane strength. Alan Sullivan writes:

[Fay] has lost its symmetrical structure. The remaining convection consists of bands in the north and east quadrants. NASA buoys report sea temperature have fallen 5 [degrees Fahrenheit] off the Cape, as prolonged convection and wind have used up Fay’s “fuel.” In these circumstances, the storm is unlikely to regenerate, despite favorable upper level winds. Slow weakening should countinue.

My concern for Savannah was unjustified. Models no longer take Fay significantly offshore, either. The storm should drift along the coast near Daytona Beach, then turn left and cross to the extreme NE Gulf. But the water there is also cooler than it was a week ago, after a stalled front caused continuous thunderstorm activity for many days. Again this is an area where the “fuel” for a hurricane has been used up. Fay’s remnant may exist for many days yet, as a vague rainy swirl on a slow erratic course.

Unfortunately, most of the models do not send that “vague rainy swirl” to the most severely drought-stricken regions of the South.

UPDATE: The Hurricane Watches have been dropped as of 11am EDT.

UPDATE 2: On an unrelated note, there is good news about the health of leukemia-stricken weatherblogger Alan Sullivan. A few days ago, I mentioned his condition after he wrote poignantly about “the reality of the end game.” Today, however, he writes: “My dire concern about health — reinforced by my doctor’s dark talk of kidney failure — has proven as alarmist as the reports on tropical storm Fay.” His current condition, he says, remains “disturbing, but preferable to the death-door situation that seemed to prevail a week ago, when I visited the clinic at Tamarac. I called off today’s appointment. I’ll stay on the regimen [of palliatives] another week, and we’ll see how I fare. Maybe I get to see the election after all.”