Tropical Storm Fay was the sixth named storm of the 2002 Atlantic hurricane season. Fay formed on September 5 about 85 miles southeast of Galvesotn, Texas. Fay made landfall near Port O'Connor, Texas on September 7 as a tropical storm. Fay finally dissipated on September 11.

Fay caused $4.5 million (2002 USD) in damage but caused no fatalities.

Fay making landfall
FormationSeptember 5, 2002
Dissipation September 11, 2002
Highest winds 60 mph
Lowest pressure 998 mbar
Deaths None reported
Damages $4.5 million (2002 USD)
Areas affected Texas, Mexico

Meteorological History


Fay originated from a broad and non-tropical area of low pressure over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. During the first few days of September, a broad mid-to upper-level trough moved southward from the United States. The trough became stationary across the northern Gulf of Mexico.Thunderstorms developed along a surface low pressure trough that hugged the northern Gulf Coast. Gradually, the trough along with a series of low pressure areas moved southward into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. A low that was located in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico became the dominant circulation and developed persistent deep convection near the low-level circulation center by September 4. On September 5, a hurricane hunter flight into the system indicated that the low had developed into Tropical Depression Six while located about 85 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas. After forming, the depression moved south-southwest, quickly intensifying as it did so. At 0000 UTC on September 6, the depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Fay while located about 110 miles southeast of Galveston. Fay moved south-southwest for 12 hours before turning to the west where it reached a peak intensity of 60 mph at 1200 UTC that same day while located about 125 miles southwest of Galveston. Shortly after peaking, Fay began to move eratically on a general west-northwest motion. Fay maintained peak intensity for nearly 24 hours until its landfall near Port O'Connor, Texas at 0900 UTC on September 7. After landfall, Fay's center reformed further north, about 25 miles northwest of Palacios. Fay then made a sharp westward turn accelerated to about 15 kt.

With more of the circulation being overland, the fast foward speed caused the storm to weaken faster than it normally would have, and by 0600 UTC on September 8, Fay had degenerated into a remnant low pressure system about 30 miles southwest of Hondo, Texas. Despite that, the tenacious remnant low meandered across southern Texas and northeastern Mexico for the next three day, producing heavy rainfall before dissipating about 65 miles northwest of Monterrey, Mexico.


Forecasters issued Tropical Storm Warnings in anticipation that the then depression would attain tropical storm status. The next day, when the depression strengthened into a tropical storm, the Tropical Storm Warnings were extended from Matagorda, Texas all the way to coastal Louisiana. Forecasters predicted that the cyclone would produce 4-6 inches of rainfall as well a storm surge of 2-4 feet to coastal areas. On September 8, the warnings were extended to Port Aransas, Texas and areas from Port O'Connor, Texas to High Island, Texas were put under a Hurricane Watch since Fay was expected to become a hurricane before landfall. When Fay failed to become a hurricane, the watch in those areas was discontinued.


Fay spawned a waterspout that made landfall along the Texas coastline, causing $60,000 (2002 USD) in damage along the northern end of Galveston Island. In addition, the waterspout damaged a carport and a brick fence. In Brazoria County, about 1,000 homes and businesses were damaged by Fay and $3.5 million (2002 USD) in damage occured in that county. Rainfall totals of up to 24 inches produced severe flash flooding along the upper Texas coast. As Fay moved inland, she produced more flash flooding that damaged thirty homes across southern Texas. Fay did manage to bring benefical rains to western and southern Texas. As Fay made landfall, 12 tornadoes were reported. The most notable tornado of the bunch destroyed a mobile home and damaged others in the city of Boling. Also, about three people were injured from the tornado. In Matagorda County, flooding from Fay left about $1.3 million (2002 USD) in damage to roads as well as public facilities. Along the coast, strong ocean currents produced by the cyclone caused significant beach erosion, which totaled up to $3.5 million (2002 USD) in damage. Also, Warlton County reported $85,000 (2002 USD) in damage, which was limited to flooding and a tornado that destroyed a mobile harm and a barn. In Bandora County, Fay dropped 2 inches of rain, with some locations picking up 6 inches of rain from the cyclone. The heavy rainfall caused isolated of flooding, producing $50,000 (2002 USD) in damage.

In Bextar County, flooding rains caused over $50,000 (2002 USD) in damage to roads and bridges. In Wilson County, $80,000 (2002 USD) in damage was reported due to flooding from Fay. In Medina County, rainfall as high as 2-3 inches fell in the southwestern part of the county. The heavy rainfall caused extensive flooding, which caused schools and office buildings to close down. The flooding left over $300,000 (2002 USD) in damage. However, much of it was limited to bridges and crops. Also, heavy rainfall from Fay's remnants produced 2-3 inches of rain in Frio County. Rainfall as high as 8 inches was reported near the Astacola County line, with an isolated report of 12 inches of rainfall in other areas. The heavy rainfall caused significant flash flooding, which forced residents to their rooftops. Total damage to buildings, roads, and crops in the state was $800,000 (2002 USD).

Lack of Retirement

Because damage was minimal, the name Fay was not retired in the Spring of 2003 by the World Meteorological Organization. It is on the list of names to be used for the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season.

See Also

2002 Atlanitc hurricane season


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