Thursday, August 21, 2008

Waiting on fickle Tropical Storm Fay

I'm sitting here listening to the rain fall. It's rather nice, actually — the steady drip of rain falling from the roof, mixed with softer and heavier rainfalls.

It's been raining here for a few days now. I count myself fortunate, because my house sits fairly high and dry, and because I haven't had 30 inches of rain like they've had in southern Brevard County. Maybe 6-8 inches, instead. I haven't had the high winds, either. Just a few gusts.

According to the weather forecasts, I should have been getting 30-45 mph winds this evening. That forecast, like most of them, has been wrong. I'm not ruling them out for the night, though.

Fay has been a cypher all along, defying the standard conventions and what is expected of tropical weather.

For one thing, what tropical storm comes on land, then gets stronger? That's just what Fay's done. I've been covering her all week.

It wasn't until she came onto the Florida Peninsula she developed into a tighter cyclonic system, and even developed a rudimentary eyewall, both signs of a hurricane.

It was thought Fay might turn into a hurricane before she made landfall in South Florida. She didn't. She was expected to weaken after she made landfall. She strengthened.

Even after cutting across the state, Fay was still packing 60 mph winds, sometimes edging up to 65 mph.

She got to the Space Coast and sat. And sat.

She finally moseyed up the Atlantic a few miles to Daytona Beach. And sat, and sat.

She finally started moving inland this afternoon -- at 2 mph.

Fay, what's your hurry?

Fickle Fay, move away and don't come back another day -- this NOAA shot was taken this afternoon, not long before Fay finally started making her dramatic 2 mph turn inland, around the Volusia/Flagler county line in East Central Florida.

Fay gave herself the luxury of dumping horrendous rains on Brevard, and now parts of Volusia County, but not on my little patch of it.

I thank God, and pray Fay won't stay.

If she moves west back across the peninsula into the Gulf, who knows what she'll do?

A forecaster I talked to said Fay will be one for textbooks, and a case study, because her behavior has been so unusual. She's proof cyclonic storms aren't all just about wind or even storm surge. Fay is a rain-maker extraordinaire.


David G. said...

It's been raining on and off for 5 days here, fortunately I don't live in a flood prone area.

First the rain came from one direction, now it's coming from another.

I live in south Marion county.

Padre Mickey said...

I think we're getting a bit of Fay's rain here, too.

Saint Pat said...

David, you're not so far away from me! I live in West Volusia County. Y'all have gotten some mess with Fay, too.

Padre, um, I'll take your word for it! Panama is always getting tropical weather, though (grin).