This hurricane season's sixth storm, known as Tropical Storm Fay, will be the first to hit Florida. And it will likely reach hurricane strength before striking the Florida Keys. Presently churning over Cuba—where it is unleashing 50 mile-per-hour winds and torrential rains—the storm will likely gather strength over the open water between that island nation and the U.S. coast.
Already, Fay has killed at least 50 people in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and, potentially, Cuba. Tourists and residents are leaving Key Largo as the storm hits today.
The National Hurricane Center also expects Fay to move along Florida's east coast, home to cities such as Miami and Ft. Lauderdale.
Forecasters have called for an active hurricane season this year, with as many as five major hurricanes before season's end on November 30. So far none of this season's storms to menace North America—Bertha, Dolly, Edouard and now Fay—have reached that level of 111 mile-per-hour winds. If Fay does reach that level, perhaps the name will be retired. The last Fay hit Texas in 2002 as a tropical storm.