Posted: Jul 7, 2013 10:28 PM by Daniel Phillips
As the opening of the show was starting a message popped up on the weather computer from the National Hurricane Center, and just like that the first tropical storm had formed in the Atlantic. Around 10 o'clock Sunday evening Tropical Storm Chantal became the third system of the season.
Winds are currently at 40 mph and T.S. Chantal is moving west at 26 mph, bringing it to the Lesser Antilles by Tuesday afternoon. Most of the islands are all under a T.S. Watch or Warning as the islands brace for impact.
The forecast currently keeps Chantal as a tropical storm never reaching hurricane status, and at its peak will pack winds of around 60 mph. The intensity forecast does get tricky as it approaches the islands, so we will have to see how it handles the land.
As for direction a major high pressure system is steering T.S. Chantal and will keep it on a west northwest track until it hits the Caribbean. At this time most models agree it will shift northward and move up along the Atlantic seaboard late this week.
It will get close enough to the Gulf of Mexico, however, that we will definitely be keeping a close eye on it over the next few days and will have all the updates for you both on air and on-line. Regardless of whether or not it moves into the Gulf of Mexico, Chantal is significant because it formed in the Atlantic Basin. This typically signals the beginning of the active period in the tropics with these storms becoming more frequent.