CHANTAL making rapid approach to Caribbean

General outlook 15000Z 8th July 2013

Disturbance ten is ashore in Texas. The remaining thunderstorm activity has greatly diminished overnight with just scattered showers and thunderstorms remaining in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico and inland over Texas, and Louisiana.

Disturbance thirteen is an open tropical wave moving through the central Caribbean at 15 knots. Development is not expected.

Disturbance fourteen is an upper-level low situated just to the east of the Cayman Islands moving west at 8 knots. Over the next 24 hours, this system will bring some showers and thunderstorms to the Bahamas and Florida but upper level shear will prevent this evolving into a tropical depression or trYesterday's modeller's pin-up has risen to the occasion and been upgraded to tropical storm CHANTAL, currently about 650 miles east-sou'east of Barbados and moving west at a surprising 20 knots with maximum sustained winds of 35 knots. This should track a bit more to the west-nor'west over the next few days. On Tuesday morning, it should reach the Windward Islands. As CHANTAL moves through the Caribbean towards Hispaniola it should slow down. An even slower northwestward to northward track will then bring CHANTAL through the Bahamas Friday and Saturday. Beyond then CHANTAL could be a threat to the southeastern United States, particularly northeastern Florida to the Carolinas. Should CHANTAL collapse, still a possibility at this speed, it would make it more likely to track to the left of the forecast track. Thus the possibility of CHANTAL entering the eastern Gulf of Mexico cannot be ruled out. Storms moving as fast as this are often slow to intensify. In addition, wind shear in the Caribbean will be an inhibiting factor thus this system may not progress much beyond a low-end tropical storm.

The westernmost of the two systems we reported on yesterday has been recognised and tagged as disturbance sixteen. This is moving west at 15 knots. Development is unlikely at this time.

The next disturbance to exit the coast of Africa might be of more interest for development when it emerges in a few days as it has already acquired some decent circulation.

Stand easy