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"Chantal" Headed for Eastern Caribbean

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Updated: 7/08/2013 12:25 pm
Tropical Storm WATCH for Puerto Rico as "Chantal" Approaches E. Caribbean... "Erick" Near Ca. Baja Peninsula......

Tropical storm "Chantal" continues to speed west/northwest & will move to just south of Puerto Rico by Wed. then through or near Hispaniola then to the Bahamas by Fri.-Sat.  The storm is in a less than favorable environment for a whole of strengthening -- especially in the long term.  Shear, however, does appear to have weakened some & will remain so through midweek.  The tropical cyclone is an island of moisture of sorts amid what is otherwise very dry mid & upper level air.  Potential land interaction with Hispaniola then eventually Cuba late this week should cause weakening.  There will also be an increase in shear by the weekend.  This double "whammy" should result in a weak system east of Fl. by the weekend.  Much will hinge, however, on eventual land interaction as well as how an upper level trough orients itself late this week.  Current indications are that "Chantal" could bend at least somewhat back to the west in 5-7 days BUT that's if it survives the potential pitfalls -- land + dry air + shear -- of the next several days.
At this early juncture....effects on the First Coast -- if the storm is east of Fl. this week -- would be an increase in rip currents at area beaches, rough seas & surf, gusty winds & possibly some heavy rain.

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".  There is at least some chance for this wave to develop with time as it moves west then west/northwest.

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.  An incoming upper level trough later this week will absorb the TUTT as the TUTT weakens & turn the system to the north then northeast.  This combination 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 grazing past the Southern Baja of California.  Weakening will continue as the storm moves more west with time. 


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