Tropical Storm Chantal: a Likely Harbinger of an Active Atlantic Hurricane Season

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:02 PM GMT on July 08, 2013

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Tropical Storm Chantal is speeding westwards at 26 mph towards a Tuesday encounter with the Lesser Antilles Islands. Satellite loops show that Chantal has plenty of spin, with several well-developed low-level spiral bands that have gradually increased their heavy thunderstorm activity this morning. However, Chantal is fighting dry air associated with the Saharan Air Layer (SAL). The heavy thunderstorm activity near Chantal's center is rather thin, and there are virtually no heavy thunderstorms on the storm's north side, where upper-level northwesterly winds are creating light to moderate wind shear of 5 - 15 knots, and driving dry air into the storm. This dry air is readily apparent on water vapor satellite loops. Ocean temperatures are fairly warm, though, at 27.5 - 28°C. There have not been any hurricane hunter missions into Chantal yet, but an Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft deployed to St. Croix on Sunday, and is scheduled to investigate Chantal on Monday afternoon.


Figure 1. MODIS image of Chantal taken at approximately 10 am EDT Monday, July 8, 2013. At the time, Chantal had top winds of 45 mph. Image credit: NASA.


Figure 2. U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Levi Denham, a WC-130J Hercules aircraft weather reconnaissance loadmaster assigned to the 53rd Reconnaissance Squadron (the Hurricane Hunters), performs pre-engine start-up inspections in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, on Sept. 16, 2010. DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez, U.S. Air Force. Thanks go to wunderground member Patrap for pointing out this photo.

Forecast for Chantal
The 8 am EDT Monday forecast from the SHIPS model predicts that Chantal will experience low to moderate shear through Tuesday afternoon as it heads west-northwest at 25 mph towards Hispaniola. With ocean temperatures expected to warm to 28°C during that time, Chantal has the potential to intensify to a 65 mph tropical storm before hitting Hispaniola. Working against intensification will be the fast forward speed of the storm--tropical storms moving faster than 20 mph in the deep tropics usually have trouble intensifying. In addition, the Eastern Caribbean is an area where the trade winds accelerate, helping drive sinking air that discourages tropical storm intensification. Dry air will also slow down the intensification process, and I don't see Chantal making it to hurricane strength before interacting with the mountains of Hispaniola and/or Cuba on Tuesday night and Wednesday. This interaction may be able to destroy the storm, since wind shear is also expected to rise to the high range, 20 - 30 knots, Tuesday night through Thursday. Chantal has the potential to cause big problems for Haiti, which is highly vulnerable to flash flooding due to the lack of vegetation on the deforested mountains. However, there is a lot of dry air to the west of Chantal, which may act to keep rainfall totals in Haiti down to a manageable 2 - 4". Over 300,000 people are still homeless and living in makeshift tent camps in Haiti, three years after the great 2010 earthquake.

Once Chantal crosses Hispaniola and enters the Bahamas late this week, the trough of low pressure pulling the storm to the northwest is expected to lift out. It is unclear at this point whether or not this trough will be strong enough to pull Chantal out to sea, or whether the storm might be forced back to the northwest into the U.S. East Coast by high pressure building in.


Figure 3. There have been only thirteen tropical depressions or tropical storms that have formed July 15 or earlier that have passed through the Lesser Antilles since 1851, an average of one such tropical cyclone every thirteen years. Note that two of these storms, Dennis and Emily, occurred during the notorious Hurricane Season of 2005. There were five other pre-July 16 storms that formed east of the Lesser Antilles Islands, but did not pass through the islands (Bertha of 2009, Barry of 1989, and unnamed tropical depressions in 1967, 1978, and 2001.) Image credit: NOAA's Historical Hurricane Tracks website.

Chantal: an uncommon early-season Cape Verde-type tropical storm
Formation of a tropical storm east of the Lesser Antilles Islands in early July from an African tropical wave is an uncommon occurrence. Since Atlantic hurricane records began in 1851, there have been only thirteen tropical depressions or tropical storms that have formed July 15 or earlier that have passed through the Lesser Antilles, an average of one early-season tropical cyclone every thirteen years. Note that two of these storms, Dennis and Emily, occurred during the notorious Hurricane Season of 2005. There were five other pre-July 16 storms that formed east of the Lesser Antilles Islands, but did not pass through the islands (Bertha of 2009, Barry of 1989, and tropical depressions in 1967, 1978, and 2001 that did not become named storms.)

Chantal: a likely harbinger of an active Atlantic hurricane season
Chantal's formation on July 8 is an usually early date for formation of the season's third storm, which usually occurs on August 13. A large number of early-season named storms is not necessarily a harbinger of an active season, unless one or more of these storms form in the deep tropics, south of 23.5°N. According to Phil Klotzbach and Bill Gray, leaders of Colorado State's seasonal hurricane forecasting team,

"Most years do not have named storm formations in June and July in the tropical Atlantic (south of 23.5°N); however, if tropical formations do occur, it indicates that a very active hurricane season is likely. For example, the seven years with the most named storm days in the deep tropics in June and July (since 1949) are 1966, 1969, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2005, and 2008. All seven of these seasons were very active. When storms form in the deep tropics in the early part of the hurricane season, it indicates that conditions are already very favorable for TC development. In general, the start of the hurricane season is restricted by thermodynamics (warm SSTs, unstable lapse rates), and therefore deep tropical activity early in the hurricane season implies that the thermodynamics are already quite favorable for tropical cyclone (TC) development."

Two of this season's three storms have formed in the deep tropics--Tropical Storm Barry, which formed in the Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche at a latitude of 19.6°N, and now Tropical Storm Chantal, which formed at a latitude of 9.8°N. With recent runs of the GFS model predicting formation of yet another tropical storm southwest of the Cape Verde Islands early next week, it appears that the Atlantic is primed for an active hurricane season in 2013.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting 2023. wunderkidcayman:

kinda not really



someone hack you and you got screwed but check Admin/mods to help you for sure



they are climbing so its invalid


Yep I realised that right after I posted it and posted below to correct, Chantal will pass just south of Barbados IMO and maybe even south of Jamaica, what's your take?
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Quoting 2027. TylerStanfield:

Wow thanks. That's exactly what I needed! I could care less about comments but it really made me mad that I lost my Blogs :P

No problem. Yeah..the internet's a pretty cool place, if you know some of the tricks. :)

Glad I could give something back, since normally all I do is lurk and read people's forecasts..like yours.


ETA: It's really true that once it's on the internet, it's impossible to delete it. :)
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Sorry Tyler. Seriously hope someone can help. Clueless here. :(
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Quoting 2024. RickWPB:
Tyler,

You don't need to have a blog for your iggy list to work. My iggy list is up to 179 and I've never made a blog of my own. Don't know what to suggest to fix it though.

When I check your blog page, it just shows nothing..but gives me options for looking at past blogs. So you don't have a blog, but you somehow got 'initialized.' When I look at Tyler's, it specifically says he doesn't have a blog yet. That's the difference, as I understand it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stormchaser19:


Time: 00:35:00Z
Coordinates: 12.1N 56.2667W
Acft. Static Air Press: 574.8 mb (~ 16.97 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 4,762 meters (~ 15,623 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1007.9 mb (~ 29.76 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 49° at 23 knots (From the NE at ~ 26.4 mph)
Air Temp: 0.9°C (~ 33.6°F)
Dew Pt: -5.7°C (~ 21.7°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 23 knots (~ 26.4 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 15 knots* (~ 17.2 mph*)
SFMR Rain Rate: 0 mm/hr* (~ 0 in/hr*)

(*) Denotes suspect data



Your read it wrong.
highlighted is the suspect data, not the pressure. Look for the * as the note says (*) is suspect data.
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2028. ncstorm
Quoting 2015. TylerStanfield:

Thanks. I've lost all my long-written articles and blogs I worked hard on :( I can't believe this happened.


Hope it works out and you get all your blogs back..I remember why you created the new account..hang in there..
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Quoting 2022. BrowardJeff:


But check out The WayBack Machine. It has your three blogs, including comments.

Wow thanks. That's exactly what I needed! I could care less about comments but it really made me mad that I lost my Blogs :P
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2026. Relix
AL, 03, 2013070900, , BEST, 0, 120N, 550W, 45, 1010, TS
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Quoting 2021. whitewabit:


No it isn't funny .. put in a ticket and hopefully the programmers will be able to reconstruct it ..

Can you link me?
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2024. RickWPB
Tyler,

You don't need to have a blog for your iggy list to work. My iggy list is up to 179 and I've never made a blog of my own. Don't know what to suggest to fix it though.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 2009. GeoffreyWPB:
Definite northerly component...Is that potential 96L coming into frame?...


kinda not really

Quoting 2015. TylerStanfield:

Thanks. I've lost all my long-written articles and blogs I worked hard on :( I can't believe this happened.


someone hack you and you got screwed but check Admin/mods to help you for sure

Quoting 2016. stormpetrol:
Time: 00:34:30Z
Coordinates: 12.0833N 56.2333W
Acft. Static Air Press: 593.2 mb (~ 17.52 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 4,513 meters (~ 14,806 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1008.1 mb (~ 29.77 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 58° at 20 knots (From the ENE at ~ 23.0 mph)
Air Temp: 2.5°C (~ 36.5°F)
Dew Pt: -3.8°C (~ 25.2°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 22 knots (~ 25.3 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 19 knots (~ 21.8 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 0 mm/hr (~ 0 in/hr)
(*) Denotes suspect data

That's strange! lowest pressure I've seen so far!


they are climbing so its invalid
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12157
Quoting 2015. TylerStanfield:

Thanks. I've lost all my long-written articles and blogs I worked hard on :( I can't believe this happened.


But check out The WayBack Machine. It has your three blogs, including comments.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2021. whitewabit (Mod)
Quoting 1997. TylerStanfield:

Its not funny. I lost all my blogs and bio and comments. :(


No it isn't funny .. put in a ticket and hopefully the programmers will be able to reconstruct it ..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 2016. stormpetrol:
Time: 00:34:30Z
Coordinates: 12.0833N 56.2333W
Acft. Static Air Press: 593.2 mb (~ 17.52 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 4,513 meters (~ 14,806 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1008.1 mb (~ 29.77 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 58° at 20 knots (From the ENE at ~ 23.0 mph)
Air Temp: 2.5°C (~ 36.5°F)
Dew Pt: -3.8°C (~ 25.2°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 22 knots (~ 25.3 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 19 knots (~ 21.8 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 0 mm/hr (~ 0 in/hr)
(*) Denotes suspect data

That's strange! lowest pressure I've seen so far!


Then a lower pressure for the next advisory. New convection should get pressures to match the winds.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 2016. stormpetrol:
Time: 00:34:30Z
Coordinates: 12.0833N 56.2333W
Acft. Static Air Press: 593.2 mb (~ 17.52 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 4,513 meters (~ 14,806 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1008.1 mb (~ 29.77 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 58° at 20 knots (From the ENE at ~ 23.0 mph)
Air Temp: 2.5°C (~ 36.5°F)
Dew Pt: -3.8°C (~ 25.2°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 22 knots (~ 25.3 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 19 knots (~ 21.8 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 0 mm/hr (~ 0 in/hr)
(*) Denotes suspect data

That's strange! lowest pressure I've seen so far!


Time: 00:35:00Z
Coordinates: 12.1N 56.2667W
Acft. Static Air Press: 574.8 mb (~ 16.97 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 4,762 meters (~ 15,623 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1007.9 mb (~ 29.76 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 49° at 23 knots (From the NE at ~ 26.4 mph)
Air Temp: 0.9°C (~ 33.6°F)
Dew Pt: -5.7°C (~ 21.7°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 23 knots (~ 26.4 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 15 knots* (~ 17.2 mph*)
SFMR Rain Rate: 0 mm/hr* (~ 0 in/hr*)
(*) Denotes suspect data


Member Since: June 20, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2159
2018. will40
Quoting 2016. stormpetrol:
Time: 00:34:30Z
Coordinates: 12.0833N 56.2333W
Acft. Static Air Press: 593.2 mb (~ 17.52 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 4,513 meters (~ 14,806 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1008.1 mb (~ 29.77 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 58° at 20 knots (From the ENE at ~ 23.0 mph)
Air Temp: 2.5°C (~ 36.5°F)
Dew Pt: -3.8°C (~ 25.2°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 22 knots (~ 25.3 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 19 knots (~ 21.8 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 0 mm/hr (~ 0 in/hr)
(*) Denotes suspect data

That's strange! lowest pressure I've seen so far!



1007.9 mb
(~ 29.76 inHg)

i got this but plane was at 1500 feet
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 2016. stormpetrol:
Time: 00:34:30Z
Coordinates: 12.0833N 56.2333W
Acft. Static Air Press: 593.2 mb (~ 17.52 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 4,513 meters (~ 14,806 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1008.1 mb (~ 29.77 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 58° at 20 knots (From the ENE at ~ 23.0 mph)
Air Temp: 2.5°C (~ 36.5°F)
Dew Pt: -3.8°C (~ 25.2°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 22 knots (~ 25.3 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 19 knots (~ 21.8 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 0 mm/hr (~ 0 in/hr)
(*) Denotes suspect data

That's strange! lowest pressure I've seen so far!


Ignore headed home!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Time: 00:34:30Z
Coordinates: 12.0833N 56.2333W
Acft. Static Air Press: 593.2 mb (~ 17.52 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 4,513 meters (~ 14,806 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1008.1 mb (~ 29.77 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 58° at 20 knots (From the ENE at ~ 23.0 mph)
Air Temp: 2.5°C (~ 36.5°F)
Dew Pt: -3.8°C (~ 25.2°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 22 knots (~ 25.3 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 19 knots (~ 21.8 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 0 mm/hr (~ 0 in/hr)
(*) Denotes suspect data

That's strange! lowest pressure I've seen so far!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 2007. BrowardJeff:


The problem isn't on your side..I show you with no blog entries. That's also why your ignore list doesn't work - you need a blog first. And since your blogs vanished, the system thinks you don't have one.
Create something - anything - as a blog, and the ignore list should start working. Then hopefully the mods/admins can help with the rest of the issue.

Thanks. I've lost all my long-written articles and blogs I worked hard on :( I can't believe this happened.
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Quoting 2010. TropicalAnalystwx13:
Huge disagreement within the GFS ensembles for the surface pressure in 10 days, located over or just north of the northeastern Caribbean. Means some ensembles depict a significant tropical cyclone.



East Coast may have to watch out, but that's a long way out:



...and I find it funny how only one GFS ensemble shows a system near Jamaica in 15 days, but it is apparently very strong because of the significant disruption in the surface pressure field:

No east coast :(.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17091
2013. ncstorm
336 hours


348 hours


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Quoting 1991. CybrTeddy:


lol at you :)


Any plans for a new video? Great to hear some analysis for the unpredictable Chantal.
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Can somebody help me? I've lost everything, my blogs, my bio, and my comments. :(
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Huge disagreement within the GFS ensembles for the surface pressure in 10 days, located over or just north of the northeastern Caribbean. Means some ensembles depict a significant tropical cyclone.



East Coast may have to watch out, but that's a long way out (and note the eastern Atlantic lighting up again):



...and I find it funny how only one GFS ensemble shows a system near Jamaica in 15 days, but it is apparently very strong because of the significant disruption in the surface pressure field:

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
Definite northerly component...Is that potential 96L coming into frame?...

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Quoting 2002. will40:
1007.9 mb
(~ 29.76 inHg)

that is lowest sofar right?


Plane was climbing with that reading, not considered valid.
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Quoting 1997. TylerStanfield:

Its not funny. I lost all my blogs and bio and comments. :(


The problem isn't on your side..I show you with no blog entries. That's also why your ignore list doesn't work - you need a blog first. And since your blogs vanished, the system thinks you don't have one.
Create something - anything - as a blog, and the ignore list should start working. Then hopefully the mods/admins can help with the rest of the issue.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This really doesn't look organized at the surface at all if this is the "primary" circulation

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2005. Patrap
TS Chantal

Rainbow Loop

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128667
2004. ncstorm
324 hours


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Quoting TylerStanfield:

WHAT THE HECK?! Was my account reset? I had over 400 comments and 3 blogs, my bio is gone and I only have pictures left? What's going on?!


Houston.,,,,, we have a problem....



I used to visit your blogs occasionally. I don't know what happened. I would change your password if I was you.
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2002. will40
1007.9 mb
(~ 29.76 inHg)

that is lowest sofar right?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2001. Patrap
At 00:37:30Z (last observation), the observation was 224 miles (360 km) to the ESE (106°) from Bridgetown, Barbados.

Product: Air Force High Density (HDOB) Message (URNT15 KNHC)
Transmitted: 9th day of the month at 00:36Z
Date: July 9, 2013
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 302)
Storm Number: 03
Storm Name: Chantal (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 1
Observation Number: 38

00:37:30Z 12.183N 56.433W 503.3 mb
(~ 14.86 inHg) 5,841 meters
(~ 19,163 feet) - 315 meters
(~ 1,033 feet) From 67° at 26 knots
(From the ENE at ~ 29.9 mph) -5.8°C
(~ 21.6°F) -13.3°C
(~ 8.1°F) 26 knots
(~ 29.9 mph) 25 knots
(~ 28.7 mph) 2 mm/hr
(~ 0.08 in/hr) 25.0 knots (~ 28.7 mph)
96.2%
Time Coordinates Aircraft
Static Air Pressure Aircraft
Geopotential Height Extrapolated
Surface Pressure D-value Flight Level Wind (30 sec. Avg.) Air Temp. Dew Point Peak (10 sec. Avg.)
Flight Level Wind SFMR
Peak (10s Avg.) Sfc. Wind SFMR
Rain Rate Estimated Surface Wind (30 sec. Avg.)
Using Estimated Reduction Factor Peak Wind at Flight Level to
Est. Surface Reduction Factor
HDOB Observations
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128667
Recon is heading home new flight in about 10 hours
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12157
Never mind, am rusty and misread the data. lol
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Quoting 1986. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Thanks! I know my art skills aren't the greatest in the world, but I tried to show what the steering is showing and taking into account what some of the experienced bloggers have said on here. Plus going with my own intuition of what has happened with previous storms in this position. Also it remains to be seen what the system will look like after its encounter with Hispaniola. Anybody remember the 2000 version of Hurricane Debby that was supposed to hit South FL.?

I'm still going with Freeport TX. It might hit FL 1st...but then will head west to TX.
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Quoting 1991. CybrTeddy:


lol at you :)

Its not funny. I lost all my blogs and bio and comments. :(
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Quoting 1984. TylerStanfield:

Clearing cookies? I signed out. And back in... Cleared browser and started new one. I don't know what happened.


Looks like you got reset your blog comments are at 47.
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Quoting 1990. MahFL:
58 kts, thats even higher, right ?
Yup that comes out to about 67 mph.
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8436
Quoting wxchaser97:

It's working fine for me.


Just downloaded a new file. They ain't finding much and a strange flight path also.
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AL, 03, 2013070900, , BEST, 0, 120N, 550W, 45, 1010, TS, 34, NEQ, 80, 0, 0, 80, 1012, 140, 35, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, CHANTAL, M,
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Quoting 1974. weatherlover94:


and the shear in the Caribbean doesn't look to terribly strong right now but it's pretty high




It has a decent upper level ridge over it. It will be interesting to see if it develops an anticyclone to help it out.

If that happens a possible hurricane will not look so farfetched as it continues to defy all odds. Forget about Dorian right now As DMAX approaches this continues to look more interesting.
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Quoting 1984. TylerStanfield:

Clearing cookies? I signed out. And back in... Cleared browser and started new one. I don't know what happened.


lol at you :)
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24181
1990. MahFL
58 kts, thats even higher, right ?
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Quoting 1987. SavannahStorm:


Dat's quite a looker. Starting to get an impressive core.


Yes I agree
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Looks like convection is trying to wrap all the way around the COC of Chantal
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Quoting 1977. Stormchaser2007:


Dat's quite a looker. Starting to get an impressive core.
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Quoting 1959. moonlightcowboy:


Very nice discernment! :) I'll come back in a bit and share why I think the current modeling isn't quite right, imho. :)
Thanks! I know my art skills aren't the greatest in the world, but I tried to show what the steering is showing and taking into account what some of the experienced bloggers have said on here. Plus going with my own intuition of what has happened with previous storms in this position. Also it remains to be seen what the system will look like after its encounter with Hispaniola. Anybody remember the 2000 version of Hurricane Debby that was supposed to hit South FL.?
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8436
Quoting 1978. ncstorm:
312 hours
I think these will shift south and west some as the storm forms and the pattern evolves.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17091
Quoting 1982. whitewabit:


Try signing out and then back in after clearing cookies ..

Clearing cookies? I signed out. And back in... Cleared browser and started new one. I don't know what happened.
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-_-
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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