July 8, 2013

Tropical Storm Chantal Develops in Atlantic

The Atlantic Basin has been void of a tropical depression or storm since mid-June, until Sunday evening that is.  Tropical Storm Chantal has developed in the Atlantic Ocean and is currently 705 miles east-southeast of Barbados.  The AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center has been keeping a close eye on this tropical system over the past few days as it has been moving from near Africa across the Atlantic Ocean.  As the wave progressed westward over the weekend, it encountered warmer waters near the Caribbean. This helped it develop into what is now Tropical Storm Chantal.

The fast forward motion of Chantal should hinder any significant development as it is expected to maintain its status as a tropical storm over the next several days.  Chantal will continue to track to the west and northwest through midweek, passing over the Windward and southern Leeward islands on Tuesday. The threat for flooding in low-lying and poor drainage areas will accompany Chantal as it moves across these islands.  Although Chantal is expected to remain at tropical storm strength, the warm waters of the Caribbean may help it intensify to a weak category one hurricane.

By midweek, Chantal will encounter stronger wind shear (disruptive winds above the surface) and will start to weaken. This weakening will occur around the same time that nears Jamaica, Haiti, Hispaniola and Cuba.  Even though the mountainous terrain of these islands should deter Chantal from strengthening, these islands may still be faced with the danger of flooding rain and mudslides at midweek.
Later in the week, it is possible that the wave enhances the shower and thunderstorm activity across the Florida Peninsula.
By: Kristina Pydynowski, Senior Meteorologist – AccuWeather.com

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