Flood Warning expires at 10:03 PM on 4/23, issued at 10:03 PM Fort White, FL | Lake City, FL | Lulu, FL

"Chantal" Remains Disorganized

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Updated: 7/09/2013 8:03 am
Tropical Storm WARNING for Puerto Rico; Tropical Storm WARNING for Dominican Republic S. Coast.. Tropical Storm WATCH Haiti/N. Coast Dominican Republic & SE Bahamas...

Tropical storm "Chantal" is speeding west as a very disorganized & -- for the moment at least -- struggling tropical cyclone.  Tropical climatology dictates that July tropical cyclones moving this fast into the Eastern/Northeast Caribbean will usually struggle to strengthen & such has been the case so far with "Chantal".  Dry mid & upper level air (see water vapor image below) & westerly shear is not helping matters.  Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft just could close off the circulation late Mon. with only very light west & northwest winds on the west & south side of "Chantal" along with unusually high pressure of 1010 mb.  The stronger winds were a fair distance to the northeast of the center.  It would seem that the storm will continue to struggle before reaching Hispaniola at which point any land interaction would really give "Chantal" fits.  Therefore, the future forecast -- especially intensity -- is highly uncertain.  It's entirely possible -- as indicated by the European model -- that "Chantal" will not survive beyond the next few days.  But if the storm does survive to the weekend then all bets are off.  As environmental conditions will become more favorable & there will likely be a bend to the west toward Fl. by Sun.-Mon.  This bend will be a result of 2 factors:
(1) a re-strengthening of the expansive high pressure area to the north....
(2) the upper low now near the Bahamas that will move west across Fl. by Thu. then into the Gulf.
At this early juncture....effects on the First Coast -- IF the storm is east of Fl. this weekend & still a viable tropical cyclone -- would be an increase in rip currents at area beaches, rough seas & surf, gusty winds & some heavy rain.  The intensity of these effects would, of course, depend on the exact location & strength of "Chantal".

Forecast model plots below courtesy S. Fl. Water Management District:

Another strong wave has come off the African coast is hot on the heels of "Chantal" following a similar path as "Chantal".  There is at least some chance for this wave to develop with time as it moves west then west/northwest & gains some latitude.

Meanwhile....the upper level low (TUTT) is very evident on satellite imagery near the Bahamas.  Thunderstorms heave increased but no tropical development is expected as this upper low moves west across S. Fl. through Wed.  This system will enhance showers & t'storms across Fl. -- including the First Coast.  An incoming upper level trough later this week will absorb the TUTT as the TUTT weakens & turns the system to the north then northeast.  This combination -- as mentioned above -- could have a steering influence on "Chantal" this weekend/early next week assuming "Chantal" survives that long.

In the E. Pacific, a weak "Erick" is dying just west of the Baja of California. 


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