Tropical Storm Fay is soaking the US East Coast and is expected to make landfall Friday or overnight
(CNN) -- Tropical Storm Fay is lashing the Mid-Atlantic coast with heavy rains and strong winds Friday morning ahead of an anticipated landfall in New Jersey -- a path expected to drench a good portion of the Northeast.
As of 8 a.m., Fay's center was about 90 miles south of Cape May, New Jersey, with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, moving north, the National Weather Service said.
Rain and wind will affect major US cities -- including Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York -- at various points Friday, CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers said.
About 2 to 4 inches of rain, with isolated amounts of around 7 inches, are forecast, bringing a risk of flash flooding from coastal Maryland and Delaware into southern New England on Friday.
Also, winds of 40 to 50 mph may hit parts of the coast, and beach erosion also may be an issue.
A tropical storm warning has been issued for the coasts of Delaware, New Jersey, New York -- including New York City and Long Island -- Connecticut and part of Rhode Island.
The warning means that tropical storm conditions, including sustained winds of at least 39 mph, are expected somewhere within the warning area.
Landfall -- expected to be over New Jersey -- could happen from late Friday afternoon to sometime overnight.
"We're going to see some trees down. We're going to see some power lines down. Probably a little bit of beach erosion, and that heavy, heavy rainfall," Myers said.
By 9 a.m., the barrier peninsula community of Ocean City, Maryland, had received more than 4 inches of rain in three hours.
Fay formed off North Carolina's coast Thursday. It is the earliest tropical storm that begins with an "F" on record. The previous record was set on July 21, 2005.
"Around 6 o'clock tonight, that will be the worst weather you get in New York City. By 11 o'clock ... that weather gets into Boston, Connecticut, all the way through New Hampshire and Vermont," Myers said.
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