Unusual Chantal Disorganized, but has 65 mph Winds

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:06 PM GMT on July 09, 2013

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Unusual Tropical Storm Chantal has strengthened a bit more as it speeds west-northwestwards at 26 mph away from the the Lesser Antilles Islands. Sustained winds of 38 mph, gusting to 52 mph, were observed at Martinique at 10 am AST as the storm passed. However, an automated weather station at the airport measured sustained winds of 60 mph, gusting to 78 mph, according to an official with Meteo-France. The Associated Press reported that Chantal ripped the roofs off of several homes on neighboring Dominica. An Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft measured top winds at their 1,000' flight level of 89 mph at 12:55 pm AST. Top winds seen by the aircraft's SFMR instrument were about 65 mph, in a small area east of Chantal's center. The Hurricane Hunters have departed Chantal, and the next plane is due in the storm at 8 pm EDT. Chantal's winds are unusually high considering the storm's high central pressure of 1006 mb and disorganized appearance on satellite imagery. Chantal is fighting dry air associated with the Saharan Air Layer (SAL), as seen on water vapor satellite loops. This dry air is creating strong thunderstorm downdrafts that are robbing Chantal of moisture and energy. Visible satellite loops show the outflow boundaries of these thunderstorm downdrafts at the surface, spreading to the northwest of Chantal. Martinique Radar shows a large area of heavy rain that is not well-organized, lying mostly to the west of the Lesser Antilles Islands.


Figure 1. MODIS image of Chantal taken at approximately 1 pm EDT Tuesday, July 9, 2013. At the time, Chantal had top winds of 65 mph, but looked very disorganized, due to high wind shear and dry air. Dry air is creating strong thunderstorm downdrafts that are robbing Chantal of moisture and energy. Outflow boundaries from these downdrafts are spreading out to the northwest of Chantal, as seen on this satellite image. Image credit: NASA.

An small-scale easterly jet creating high shear in Chantal
Chantal is not very impressive on satellite images, with a modest amount of heavy thunderstorms that are not well-organized. Only a small amount of upper-level outflow is visible. The reason for Chantal's rather disorganized appearance can be found by looking at this morning's balloon sounding from Guadaloupe. This island was just northwest of the center of Chantal when the balloon was launched at 8 am EDT. The sounding showed typical easterly trade winds at the surface of 12 knots (14 mph.) However, the winds rose quickly aloft, with a jet of easterly winds of 35 - 53 knots between 800 - 600 mb (about 7,000 - 15,000'.) But, by the time the ballon hit 500 mb (18,000'), the winds had died down to 15 knots. A change of wind speed from 12 knots to 53 knots and back down to 15 knots from the surface to 500 mb is a tremendous amount of wind shear, which will make it very difficult for a tropical storm to keep the surface center aligned with the upper level center. The traditional measure of wind shear, the difference in wind between 200 mb and 850 mb, was 44 knots in this morning's Guadaloupe sounding, but was a much higher 56 knots from 200 mb to 700 mb. The powerful easterly wind jet was not apparent at any of the other balloon soundings this morning at adjacent islands (Barbados, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin), and demonstrates that there is a lot going on the atmosphere at small scales we cannot see which makes intensity forecasting of tropical cyclones very challenging. Thanks go to Jason Dunion of NOAA's Hurricane Research Division for pointing out this morning's interesting Guadaloupe sounding.

Forecast for Chantal
Chantal will have difficulty intensifying much more before hitting Hispaniola on Wednesday afternoon. In their 11 am EDT wind probability forecast, NHC gave Chantal a 29% chance of becoming a hurricane before hitting Hispaniola. Working against intensification will be the high wind shear from the strong mid-level easterly jet discussed above, plus 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. Interaction with the high mountains of Hispaniola and high wind shear may be able to destroy Chantal by Thursday. The 2 pm EDT Tuesday wind shear forecast from the SHIPS model calls for shear to rise to the high range, 20 - 35 knots, Tuesday night through Friday. On Saturday, when Chantal is expected to be in the Bahamas, moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots is predicted. If Chantal survives until Saturday, it will then have the opportunity to re-strengthen. The latest 12Z run of the European model (ECMWF) dissipates Chantal as it crosses Hispaniola. The 12Z run of the American GFS model has Chantal barely surviving.

Chantal's fast west-northwest forward speed of 26 mph will slow to 20 mph by Wednesday morning and then 10 mph by Thursday night, as the storm "feels" the presence of a trough of low pressure over the U.S. East Coast. This trough will steer Chantal to the northwest and then north-northwest across Hispaniola and into the Bahamas. The trough of low pressure pulling Chantal northwards is expected to lift out the the northeast over the weekend, leaving Chantal behind off the coast of Florida. High pressure will likely build in, potentially forcing Chantal westwards into the Florida or Southeast U.S. coast, with a possible Sunday landfall.

Jeff Masters

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TROPICAL STORM CHANTAL DISCUSSION NUMBER 10
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL032013
500 AM AST WED JUL 10 2013

OBSERVATIONS FROM A HURRICANE HUNTER MISSION AND NOAA DATA BUOY
42059 INDICATE THAT CHANTAL MAY NO LONGER HAVE A CLOSED
CIRCULATION. THE SATELLITE PRESENTATION OF THE SYSTEM HAS ALSO
DETERIORATED MARKEDLY THIS MORNING...AND IS BARELY CLASSIFIABLE BY
THE DVORAK TECHNIQUE. FLIGHT-LEVEL AND SFMR SURFACE WINDS DO NOT
SUPPORT AN INTENSITY OF MORE THAN 40 KT...AND THE CURRENT WIND
SPEED IS SET AT THAT VALUE. EVEN IF CHANTAL DOES NOT CEASE ITS
EXISTENCE AS A TROPICAL CYCLONE...DYNAMICAL GUIDANCE SHOWS STRONG
WESTERLY SHEAR OVER THE SYSTEM FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. THE
SHEAR...ALONG WITH LAND INTERACTION...SHOULD CAUSE FURTHER
WEAKENING. THE OFFICIAL INTENSITY FORECAST IS SIMILAR TO THE
STATISTICAL-DYNAMICAL LGEM GUIDANCE AND THE INTENSITY MODEL
CONSENSUS.

ALTHOUGH THE CENTER IS DIFFICULT TO TRACK...THE BEST ESTIMATE IS
THAT CHANTAL MOVED VERY RAPIDLY WESTWARD...NEAR 28 KT...OVER THE
PAST SEVERAL HOURS. A MORE CONSERVATIVE...LONGER-TERM...ESTIMATE
OF INITIAL MOTION IS 285/25. A WELL-DEFINED MID-LEVEL RIDGE TO THE
NORTH OF THE STORM HAS BEEN STEERING IT QUICKLY WESTWARD TO
WEST-NORTHWESTWARD. A WEAKNESS IN THE RIDGE IN THE VICINITY OF THE
EASTERN GULF OF MEXICO AND THE FLORIDA PENINSULA SHOULD RESULT IN
CHANTAL...OR ITS REMNANT...TURNING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST AND NORTH
OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS. SINCE THE INITIAL POSITION HAS BEEN
SHIFTED SUBSTANTIALLY WESTWARD IN COMPARISON TO THE PREVIOUS
ADVISORY... THIS NECESSITATES A LARGE WESTWARD SHIFT TO THE NHC
FORECAST TRACK. NONETHELESS...THE NEW OFFICIAL FORECAST IS STILL
ON THE EASTERN SIDE OF THE TRACK MODEL GUIDANCE SUITE.

SINCE THE CYCLONE MAY BE OPENING UP INTO A WAVE...ADVISORIES MAY BE
DISCONTINUED LATER TODAY.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 10/0900Z 16.5N 69.5W 40 KT 45 MPH
12H 10/1800Z 17.8N 72.3W 35 KT 40 MPH
24H 11/0600Z 19.5N 75.7W 30 KT 35 MPH
36H 11/1800Z 21.5N 78.5W 30 KT 35 MPH...INLAND
48H 12/0600Z 23.8N 79.5W 30 KT 35 MPH
72H 13/0600Z 27.5N 80.0W 30 KT 35 MPH
96H 14/0600Z 31.0N 81.0W 35 KT 40 MPH
120H 15/0600Z 32.5N 82.0W 25 KT 30 MPH...INLAND

$$
FORECASTER PASCH/BLAKE
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Meanwhile chantal is not so dead yet. Refiring convection now over the center.

But will it be enough? Probably not.

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Quoting 1929. bigwes6844:
In other news Soulik is almost a super Typhoon! Wow just look at it go!


going to do a tremendous amount of damage wherever it ends up.
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Quoting 1931. bigwes6844:
Hey Chantal wake up!!!!! LOL! I think she sleep stormchaser

Come on Chantal PULL THROUGH!! Is it just me or does she look a SLIGHT bit better?
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Quoting 1923. sar2401:

Thesse are exactly the kind of idiotic doomcasting storis that will help kill tourism in places liks the DR, that depend on tourists for a large pat of thier national income, for the nest month. CNN was the worst, as usual, stating hurricane watches were posted in the DR when there was no such thing.
there actually were Hurricane Watches for parts of the DR Coast for a bit.
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Quoting 1928. Stormchaser121:

Shes still there!
Hey Chantal wake up!!!!! LOL! I think she sleep stormchaser
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Quoting 1929. bigwes6844:
In other news Soulik is almost a super Typhoon! Wow just look at it go!
anybody sees that dot where Soulik passed over? What island is that?
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In other news Soulik is almost a super Typhoon! Wow just look at it go!
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Quoting 1927. bigwes6844:
This is sum sad ish!

Shes still there!
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Quoting 1924. mitthbevnuruodo:


Totally reminded of Ernesto...well, excpet even worse obvs! I thought she might get torn to shreds over Hispaniola, but did reckon she'd make it at least that far! What a mess this morn! Though admittedly, when I went to bed last night, was expecting more this in the morning, than her looking good...But still, geeesh!
This is sum sad ish!
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Quoting 1923. sar2401:

stating hurricane watches were posted in the DR when there was no such thing.
There wasn't?

ZCZC MIATCPAT3 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM

BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM CHANTAL ADVISORY NUMBER 9
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL032013
1100 PM AST TUE JUL 09 2013

...CENTER OF CHANTAL PASSING SOUTH OF PUERTO RICO...


SUMMARY OF 1100 PM AST...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...15.3N 66.2W
ABOUT 215 MI...345 KM S OF SAN JUAN PUERTO RICO
ABOUT 330 MI...530 KM SE OF SANTO DOMINGO DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...60 MPH...95 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 285 DEGREES AT 28 MPH...44 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1009 MB...29.80 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

NONE.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* BARAHONA TO SAMANA DOMINICAN REPUBLIC


A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* PUERTO RICO
* ENTIRE COAST OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
* ENTIRE COAST OF HAITI
* TURKS AND CAICOS
* SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
* VIEQUES AND CULEBRA
* CENTRAL BAHAMAS

INTERESTS IN EASTERN CUBA AND THE NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS SHOULD
MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF CHANTAL.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA IN THE UNITED
STATES...INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE
MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
FORECAST OFFICE. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA OUTSIDE
THE UNITED STATES...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL
METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.

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TWC is WAYYYY off with Chantals Models. Way off.
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Quoting 1903. bigwes6844:
wassup everyone just got off and see chantal a laughing stock!! But as i said earlier about two or three days ago that I believe Chantal will be in the GOM IMO. It seems to me it looks like it will later on once it gets past these trade winds. i believe the track will shift dramatically to the west and put more of Miss and Alabama and Florida in it once it passes Jamaica. It seemed like a weird storm IMO and brung back memories of Ernesto and Isaac
Quoting 1903. bigwes6844:
wassup everyone just got off and see chantal a laughing stock!! But as i said earlier about two or three days ago that I believe Chantal will be in the GOM IMO. It seems to me it looks like it will later on once it gets past these trade winds. i believe the track will shift dramatically to the west and put more of Miss and Alabama and Florida in it once it passes Jamaica. It seemed like a weird storm IMO and brung back memories of Ernesto and Isaac


Totally reminded of Ernesto...well, excpet even worse obvs! I thought she might get torn to shreds over Hispaniola, but did reckon she'd make it at least that far! What a mess this morn! Though admittedly, when I went to bed last night, was expecting more this in the morning, than her looking good...But still, geeesh!
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1923. sar2401
Quoting AussieStorm:
Tropical Storm Chantal roars toward D.R., Haiti

Tropical Storm Chantal barrels through Caribbean, heads toward Hispaniola

Thesse are exactly the kind of idiotic doomcasting storis that will help kill tourism in places liks the DR, that depend on tourists for a large pat of thier national income, for the nest month. CNN was the worst, as usual, stating hurricane watches were posted in the DR when there was no such thing.
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Quoting 1917. sunlinepr:


Good for Haiti.... many still living in blue camping tents
Go west chantal please stay away from Haiti these people been threw enough! blue tents still chantal! go away!
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Quoting 1917. sunlinepr:


Good for Haiti.... many still living in blue camping tents
Yeah... Even moderate rains can cause widespread loss of life there.
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and TWC sitting there know darn well Chantal not heading to no Bahamas now! LMAO!
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Quoting 1916. AztecCe:
Jeez, did Chantal just disipate on us? so much for even making it past hispanola...


Good for Haiti.... many still living in blue camping tents
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1916. AztecCe
.
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1915. AztecCe
now you see her, now you dont.
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CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.7 / 921.5mb/132.2kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
6.3 6.0 6.0

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1913. AztecCe
Jeez, did Chantal just disipate on us? so much for even making it past hispanola...
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Quoting 1910. sunlinepr:


Just incredible.
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Quoting 1907. DataNerd:



This is where I disagree with Dr. Masters.


Call me unpopular and you probably will for saying this but:


Chantal is not a harbinger of jack squat.

We have had early term storms before that far south and then had inactive years. We had one in may once a few years ago if I am not mistaken and that season proved to be a silent season.


I still remain on the fence as to whether this season will be even average, let alone above average. It would take me awhile to explain why I think this and show data, and I am tired and its 2 am so that is not going to happen.


Suffice it to say I think the season may ultimately be average.
The relationship isn't absolute, of course. But in the vast majority of years, it does seem to be the case because it indicates a very favorable MDR, particularly the deep tropics. Speaking from a strictly deep tropics (as in east of the Antilles) standpoint, since the satellite era, I can only think of a handful of years where this wasn't the case: 1960, 1967, and 2001.

Either way, the favorable US pattern is still there, so far. That might change with time, but right now it's still very much there, and that's what matters.
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hey, I need more space....

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LMAO, Chantal had a pretty ugly downfall.
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Only chance for survival is if chantal can fire new tstorms over what wind sat suggests may be a possible remaining llc.


No evidence of that happening at present.
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Quoting 1906. KoritheMan:

Yet for all its failures, it did amazingly well for such an early season system, and is likely a harbinger of a very active year from a number standpoint.

Now to see if this persistent east coast ridge stays in place.



This is where I disagree with Dr. Masters.


Call me unpopular and you probably will for saying this but:


Chantal is not a harbinger of jack squat.

We have had early term storms before that far south and then had inactive years. We had one in may once a few years ago if I am not mistaken and that season proved to be a silent season.


I still remain on the fence as to whether this season will be even average, let alone above average. It would take me awhile to explain why I think this and show data, and I am tired and its 2 am so that is not going to happen.


Suffice it to say I think the season may ultimately be average.
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Quoting 1904. DataNerd:

Too early in the year for a deep south system like this to succeed.

Yet for all its failures, it did amazingly well for such an early season system, and is likely a harbinger of a very active year from a number standpoint.

Now to see if this persistent east coast ridge stays in place.
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Latest windsat data confirms a dead system with winds below 30kts



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There is no longer a closed surface circulation per recon data



System will be terminated by morning.


Not surprised considering it took the further west path, meaning the westerlies had fair game.

Too early in the year for a deep south system like this to succeed.

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wassup everyone just got off and see chantal a laughing stock!! But as i said earlier about two or three days ago that I believe Chantal will be in the GOM IMO. It seems to me it looks like it will later on once it gets past these trade winds. i believe the track will shift dramatically to the west and put more of Miss and Alabama and Florida in it once it passes Jamaica. It seemed like a weird storm IMO and brung back memories of Ernesto and Isaac
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Quoting 1897. galvestonhurricane:


Bring it!

Yes indeed! I'm ready!
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As I expected we had a dramatic leftward and southward shift in the models.

Warned you guys that this was likely because the system and the COC were very unstable and not well formed, add to that the bizarre high pressure.


Its not over yet, I think we will see another major shift within 24 hrs if not two more shifts.


But besides that fact, chantal may not be with us that long, the westerlies are having their way with her now and there is not much left:





I expect a dissipation flag by daybreak if there isn't one yet.

So fortunately despite the track shift it will likely ultimately be meaningless, as the system is not going to survive long enough for it to matter.


The one model that had this sort of scenario a few days back was GFS. Lost that in favor of other things but I think its a fair point worth noting.


Be back tomorrow.
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Quoting 1898. galvestonhurricane:
This "storm" is going to haunt forecasters (and this blog) for years to come.


Head scratcher for sure. But they usually are. :) Still a lot of uncertainty everywhere it seems.

MARINE WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
259 AM EDT WED JUL 10 2013

...CARIBBEAN SEA AND TROPICAL N ATLANTIC...
MODEL PREFERENCE: GFS/OFFICIAL BLEND OUTSIDE OF TROPICAL STORM
CHANTAL THERE IS LOW CONFIDENCE WITH REGARDS TO CHANTAL IN THE
SHORT TERM FORECAST.

TROPICAL STORM CHANTAL REMAINS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT FEATURE FOR
THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS. CHANTAL IS CENTERED
OVER THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN WATERS ABOUT 180 NM S OF PUERTO RICO AND
IS FORECAST TO MOVE NW REACHING HISPANIOLA THIS EVENING. THE
STRONGEST WINDS REMAIN N OF THE CENTER WITH THE SYSTEM. THE
BIGGEST UNCERTAINTY WITH THE FORECAST WILL BE THE INTENSITY OF
THE SYSTEM AND THE RESULTING WINDS AND SEAS OVER THE FORECAST
AREA. PLEASE REFER TO THE LATEST NHC INTERMEDIATE PUBLIC ADVISORY
UNDER AWIPS/WMO HEADERS MIATCPAT3/WTNT33 KNHC AND THE FULL
FORECAST/ADVISORY UNDER AWIPS/WMO HEADERS MIATCMAT3/WTNT23 KNHC
FOR THE MOST UP TO DATE DETAILS ON THE FORECAST INTENSITY AND
TRACK FOR TROPICAL STORM CHANTAL.


...SW N ATLANTIC W OF 55W INCLUDING THE BAHAMAS...
MODEL PREFERENCE: GFS/OFFICIAL BLEND WITH GOOD CONFIDENCE THROUGH
THE FIRST 24 HOURS...THEN LARGE UNCERTAINTY WITH INTENSITY/TRACK
FORECAST FOR CHANTAL.

THERE REMAINS A LOT OF UNCERTAINTY WITH
RESPECT TO THE TRACK AND INTENSITY OF TROPICAL STORM CHANTAL. THIS
IN TURN IS CREATING A RATHER UNCERTAIN FORECAST WITH REGARDS TO
ASSOCIATED WINDS AND SEAS OVER THE FORECAST AREA
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1899. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Category Four Typhoon Named Cyclone In Sea South Of Japan

At 15:00 PM JST, Typhoon Soulik (925 hPa) located at 21.4N 134.8E has 10 minute sustained winds of 100 knots with gusts of 140 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west northwest at 11 knots.

Storm Force Winds
==================
100 NM from the center

Gale Force Winds
===============
240 NM from the center

Dvorak Intensity: T6.5

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
24 HRS: 22.0N 129.6E - 105 knots (CAT 5/Intense Typhoon) South Of Okinawa
48 HRS: 23.4N 124.5E - 100 knots (CAT 4/Very Strong Typhoon) near Yaeyama Islands
72 HRS: 26.2N 119.6E - 90 knots (CAT 4/Very Strong Typhoon) Overland Southeastern China
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This "storm" is going to haunt forecasters (and this blog) for years to come.
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Quoting 1893. Stormchaser121:
Might be coming our way AtHomeInTX!


Bring it!
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1896. sar2401
Quoting Stormchaser121:

If I may correct you the trough was still in place over TX and shear was still pretty high. KFDM 6 confirmed that and so did the NWS.

Yes, there was trough that covered almost the entire Gulf, It was suposed to become at least a tropical storm, and the CMC wanted to make it into a 993 hurricane. None of us in the Gulf doubtedthat there was trougg - we had the rain to prove it. My point was the models blew 94L, and there's absolutley no reason to think that Chantal, even if she's still a TD, is going to have any better luck than 94L had when it was in the Gulf.
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Quoting 1893. Stormchaser121:
Might be coming our way AtHomeInTX!


Be nice if she dragged some rain with her if she did. :)
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Might be coming our way AtHomeInTX!
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1892. 7544
ull looks better than chantel lol


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Quoting 1890. AtHomeInTX:


Well that's different. Wow!

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Quoting 1889. Stormchaser121:


Well that's different. Wow!
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EURO still showing Chantal offshore of FL/EAST COAST with landfall in NC. They've been pretty consistent with that. But um now they are showing her as stronger than it has shown her before. Lol. Go figure.
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Stef, check your Facebook. Left you a surprise in the inbox. :)
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Quoting 1884. lobdelse81:
Any word on that tropical wave that came off Africa? Is it still possible that this wave could perform better than Chantal as she probably moistened and paved the way for a better environment for this wave to develop?


Dry air didn't kill Chantal. Low-level speed shear did.
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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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