9 Jul 2013

Heavy rain for Caribbean as Tropical Storm Chantal approaches

A tropical storm is going to rapidly move through the Caribbean in the next few days, bringing some heavy rain and strong winds.

Tropical Storm Chantal formed from a cluster or organised thunderstorms around 550 miles south west of the Cape Verde Islands a few days ago.

Initial forecasts showed no signs of development, but eventually, a centre of circulation formed, with the National Hurricane Center giving it tropical storm status on 8 July.

During the next few days, Chantal is likely to take and east then north east track across the Caribbean, strengthening slightly over time.

Chantal’s peak strength is likely to be as she approaches the Dominican Republic, where winds could be near category one hurricane statues, at around 70mph.

The storm will pass across the northern Leeward Islands on Tuesday, the Dominican Republic and Haiti on Wednesday evening, followed by the Bahamas on Friday.

Tropical storm watches and warnings are in effect across the Caribbean, with heavy rain and flooding the greatest concerns raised by the National Hurricane Center.

Around 2-4 inches of rain is expected widely, with a few locations seeing as much as six inches in the next few days.

This, combined with storm surges of 2-4 feet, will give a risk of flooding – especially at low-lying and coastal locations.

While not as powerful as a hurricane, it is still worth checking before you travel, as there may be some temporary delays because of poor weather.

I’ll be keep an eye on the progress of Tropical Storm Chantal in the next few days and tweeting updates on Twitter – @liamdutton

Satellite image courtesy of Naval Research Laboratory

Tweets by @liamdutton