@VALUEZTV AM EDITION
Maddy Lauria & Jeff Neilburg
A disorganized storm system off the East Coast could threaten the Delaware beaches with dangerous rip currents this weekend, and possibly bring some rain.
The weather pattern emerging off the coast of the Outer Banks of North Carolina became Tropical Storm Fay on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.
This is the sixth named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season and the earliest sixth storm on record, National Weather Service meteorologist Nick Carr said.
The previous record was set with a sixth tropical storm on July 22, 2005, he said. Tropical storms must have certain characteristics and reach wind speeds of at least 39 mph to earn a name.
The center of Fay was about 40 miles east-northeast of Cape Hatteras around 5 p.m. Thursday, moving north at about 7 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
But with relatively cool water temperatures this far north and other atmospheric elements at play, the odds are low that the storm will gain enough strength to become a hurricane-level threat, Carr said, noting that it's still far too early to predict what the system might do.
"Things don't quite line up for it to really get too strong," he said. Tropical systems generally need ocean temperatures to be in the 80s and other environmental conditions to be just right to become hurricanes.
The biggest threat for the Delmarva region would be heavy rainfall and rip currents, Carr said.
The weather service is warning of a high risk of dangerous rip currents for the Delaware beaches on Friday, July 9.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted this year will seean above-average hurricane seasonwith 13 to 19 named storms. An average Atlantic hurricane season, which spans June 1 to Nov. 30 each year, sees 12 named storms.
Wet start to the weekend could bring flash flooding Friday
The start of the weekend will be filled with rain and wind, and the National Weather Service says flash flooding is possible all over Delaware Friday.
Rain is expected to begin overnight up and down the state and continue into Friday evening.
Kent and Sussex counties are under a flash flood watch that starts at midnight Friday morning and continues until 4 p.m. Friday afternoon. New Castle County's flash flood watch starts at 4 a.m. Friday and lasts until 8 p.m. Friday night.
In New Castle County, the National Weather Service said rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches "are likely with locally higher amounts possible."
The Kent and Sussex watch gave a range of 1 to 3 inches of rain.
A storm last week in Milford dumped nearly 5 inches of rain in 90 minutes.
The wet weather is expected to give way to a warm and breezy finish to the weekend in northern Delaware, where the high is expected to hit 90 degrees both Saturday and Sunday.
At the beaches, scattered thunderstorms are in the forecast for Saturday with a high of 88 degrees. Sunday's forecast is 88 degrees with mostly sunny skies.
For more weather forecasts, go to weather.gov/phi.