Fay was a hurricane after all
The National Hurricane Center in the United States has confirmed what many Bermudians already suspected: Tropical Storm Fay was actually a hurricane.
The system battered the Island on October 12, downing power lines, damaging numerous properties and uprooting trees.
Bermuda had battened down the night before when the storm was about to hit — but residents woke up in the early hours to an unexpected blast that knocked out electricity for almost 28,000 homes.
It was reported at the time that Fay became a Category 1 hurricane as it moved out into the Atlantic after hitting the Island.
But as far as many residents here were concerned, the storm certainly felt like a hurricane.
It takes sustained winds of 74mph for spiralling storm systems to qualify as a hurricane, which are ranked from one to five: Category 1 delivers 74 to 95mph winds, while a Category 3 blows at 111 to 129mph. A Category 5 is 157mph and higher.
Tropical storms can inflict gusts of hurricane strength but, at the time, meteorologists reckoned Fay's high-intensity bursts did not qualify as continuous winds.
However, the Miami-based specialists yesterday announced they had conducted an “extensive post-analysis of all local data during the impact of Fay in collaboration with the Bermuda Weather Service”, according to James Dodgson, the Bermuda Weather Service's deputy director, and revised the storm's category.
Fay was switched from a strong Tropical Storm to a land-falling Category 1 hurricane that hit the Island.
The Center ranked this year's Atlantic hurricane season, which officially ended on November 30, as a relatively quiet one.
Bermuda is still clearing up the damage from Fay and the subsequent Hurricane Gonzalo, a Category 3 storm that was a direct hit on the Island just five days later.
Fay was the first hurricane to hit Bermuda since Igor, which struck on September 19, 2010.