Sunday, July 7, 2013

T.S. Chantal

Tropical Storm "Chantal" formed Sunday night, out of a vigorous wave/low in the Eastern Atlantic. Its roughly 1300 miles East / Southeast of Barbados in the Windward Islands.

 It will continue to move due West for the next few days pushed along by the Bermuda High.

It is a very small and compact storm with much of the Tropical Storm force winds located in the NE quadrant.

It has plenty of thunderstorm activity around the surface low and should remain on a steady pace towards the Lesser Antilles.

Marine conditions are deteriorating within 100 miles of the storm.

The following Islands are under a Tropical Storm Warning:
Barbados, Dominica, and St. Lucia. While St. Vincent is under a Tropical Storm Watch.

For the time being, these islands can expect winds of 40-50 mph hour with rainfall totals of about 2-4 inches with some areas maybe receiving half a foot.

What NHC is forecasting:

  • At its present, very fast, forward speed of almost 26 mph... it should cross over the Lesser Antilles Monday night or early Tuesday morning, 
  • This fast forward speed is key because it does not give it enough time to soak up heat energy from the ocean. Hot water is like jet fuel for storms, allowing them to grow faster.

What's working for it:

  • Warmer Sea Surface temps in its path
  • "Chantal" should slow down some, allowing it a chance to maybe reach Category 1 status sometime Tuesday.
  • Nothing in the atmosphere to stop it or weaken it. (No shearing winds)

Whats working against it:

  • If the system travels over Hispaniola, this could be bad news for our neighbors in Dominican Republic and Haiti. They could get hit with strong winds and torrential downpours, but the Dominican has the highest terrain in all of the Caribbean and this could weaken the system significantly.  
  • "Chantal" could face el Pico Duarte, which stands around 10,000 feet tall.  This would act as a huge wall disrupting its circulation and tearing its structure apart. This could deliver a much weaker system as it leaves Haiti and heads for Cuba. We will have to wait and see.

In the long run:

  • All the models aim the system towards Eastern Cuba by Mid week. After that.... it appears that the jet stream is scheduled to move out of the Nation's midsection and move to the East Coast. If this happens it will act as a shield keeping "Chantal" offshore.  If its late, then we may still get a visit from this unwanted Atlantic Lady.

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