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Tropical Storm Fay forms off North Carolina coast, likely to make landfall Friday

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 7/10/2020 Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAY

The sixth named tropical storm in an already busy hurricane season is expected to bring heavy rain and flooding to the mid-Atlantic coast heading into the weekend.

Tropical Storm Fay formed Thursday off the North Carolina coast, and a National Weather Service advisory said rainfall is forecast across the mid-Atlantic coast into southeast New York and southern New England.

The rainfall "may result in flash flooding" in the most heavily impacted areas, according to the advisory. Other impacts include winds of 40-50 mph and strengthening rip currents along the coast, according to AccuWeather.

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A tropical storm warning was issued by the weather service from Cape May, New Jersey, to Watch Hill, Rhode Island, meaning conditions are expected somewhere within the area during a 36-hour period.

What's next? The Atlantic hurricane season got off to a busy start, then there was a lull

Reconnaissance aircraft placed the center of Fay approximately 40 miles east-northeast of Cape Hatteras in North Carolina. The storm was moving to the north at 7 mph, the advisory said.

Fay will experience slight strengthening into Friday before it weakens as the center of the tropical storm moves inland.

The Atlantic hurricane season, which officially runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, had already seen five named storms, two that formed before the official start of hurricane season, None of the five storms strengthened into hurricanes.

The peak of the season is mid-August through late October, and people should be on guard, meteorologists say. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts a 60% chance of an above-normal season.

"You need to be preparing for this season as if this is the year you're going to get hit,"  Dennis Feltgen, a meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, told USA TODAY on Thursday. "If you do that, the odds are very good you will be a hurricane survivor, rather than a hurricane victim."

Fay is the earliest sixth Atlantic named storm in recorded history.

This record was previously held by Franklin, which formed in 2005 on July 22, Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach said on Twitter.

Contributing: Khrysgiana Pineda, USA TODAY; The Associated Press.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tropical Storm Fay forms off North Carolina coast, likely to make landfall Friday

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