"Chantal" Much Weaker...Tropical Storm WATCH for Jamaica.....
"Chantal" has continued its weakening trend but hurricane hunter aircraft still managed to close off the circulation Wed. morning. Very dry mid & upper level air & -- perhaps more significant -- strong west to southwest shear are the primary culprits for the weakening. Significant reorganization or strengthening is unlikely in the short term. Conditions will be at least somewhat more favorable later in the weekend/early next week, but there will also some land interaction the next few days. Since "Chantal" is more shallow (weaker), the system should trend more west vs. the northward turn but then finally get caught up in an upper level trough digging toward the Gulf Coast this weekend....that is if the wave doesn't slip underneath (south) first. Some of the tropical moisture from "Chantal" & its remnants could get pulled north by the upper trough which would enhance the heavy rain threat across Fl. & Ga.
Effects on the First Coast
the storm is near 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"....assuming its survival. Even without "Chantal" nearby, scattered to numerous heavy showers & storms are expected both Sat. & Sun.
N.W.S. radar imagery from Puerto Rico:
Forecast model plots below courtesy S. Fl. Water Management District:
Another strong wave has come off the African coast is in the Central Atlantic following a similar path to "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 southeast tip of Fl. Thunderstorms heave increased but no tropical development is expected as this upper low moves west across S. Fl. then weakens over the Eastern Gulf & turns north. This system will enhance showers & t'storms across Fl. -- including the First Coast & will aid -- along with the much larger long wave trough dipping into the Eastern U.S. -- in pulling "Chantal" north.