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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Quoting 1622. hydrus:
I would want to know too....Storms love Mobile. I have never been there, but I have seen it whacked 78 times.


I've been to Mobile a couple times. It's a beautiful place.
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Quoting 1577. StormJunkie:



Please, please put the NAM back in the closet until winter...It does not belong in a tropical discussion ;)


SJ sighting!
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April 2013 Import Highlights

Monthly data on the origins of crude oil imports in April 2013 has been released and it shows that two countries exported more than 1 million barrels per day to the United States (see table below).

The top five exporting countries accounted for 75 percent of United States crude oil imports in April while the top ten sources accounted for approximately 94 percent of all U.S. crude oil imports. The top five sources of US crude oil imports for April were Canada (2,517 thousand barrels per day), Saudi Arabia (1,107 thousand barrels per day), Mexico (905 thousand barrels per day), Venezuela (811 thousand barrels per day) and Iraq (455 thousand barrels per day).
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1633. Patrap




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Quoting 1621. Drakoen:
If it looks this disheveled now, wait till it hits the terrain of Hispaniola and Cuba combined with unfavorable upper level winds, the reason why some models depict an open wave.


Yeah... At least Isaac didn't have to contend with any shear after it had reached the longitude of Haiti.
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Quoting 1622. hydrus:
I would want to know too....Storms love Mobile. I have never been there, but I have seen it whacked 78 times.


Katrina flooded one wing to 4' and left foam marks at 18' on the outside of the building.
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Quoting 1621. Drakoen:
If it looks this disheveled now, wait till it hits the terrain of Hispaniola and Cuba combined with unfavorable upper level winds, the reason why some models depict an open wave.
Do you think there is still a LLC?
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Forecast #5 for Chantal from me.

Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 8032
Quoting 1511. Patrap:
Other than the Main Burst, not much overall symmetry here tonight.



That's not a Main Burst...... that's a Flock of Seagulls!
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1627. bappit
Quoting 1612. Astrometeor:


Adding to what bappit quoted about the stub, all we need is someone who understands all that geography language and can create a map regarding that info. I sure don't know. I would've thought with PR being close enough we could go a little farther south.

FWIW The data is here.
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1626. scott39
Looks like the rippp cord has been pulled on chantral, um I mean Chantal.
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Quoting 1618. taco2me61:

Trust me you will get the warning early enough if it comes this way.... But I would sit back and wait for more information before I go that far....
And Welcome to the Blog another Mobilian in the mix...

Taco :o)
Taco every time you mention your name I get a craven for one.Lol.

Anywho The GFS doesn't look excited so far.
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Quoting 1618. taco2me61:

Trust me you will get the warning early enough if it comes this way.... But I would sit back and wait for more information before I go that far....
And Welcome to the Blog another Mobilian in the mix...

Taco :o)
Quoting 1617. Astrometeor:


GFS dropped what would be Dorian, so as for now, nothing should be coming your way that is tropical.



Thanks to both of you.
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1623. whitewabit (Mod)
Lets return to the subject of the blog ..


Take political statements to your own blogs ..
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1622. hydrus
Quoting 1618. taco2me61:

Trust me you will get the warning early enough if it comes this way.... But I would sit back and wait for more information before I go that far....
And Welcome to the Blog another Mobilian in the mix...

Taco :o)
I would want to know too....Storms love Mobile. I have never been there, but I have seen it whacked 78 times.
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1621. Drakoen
If it looks this disheveled now, wait till it hits the terrain of Hispaniola and Cuba combined with unfavorable upper level winds, the reason why some models depict an open wave.
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Quoting 1600. SavannahStorm:
I leave you with this tonight-

Ladies and Gentlemen- The "Chantals"


Maybe




Replacing your centers of circulation while running low through the horse latitudes, saharan and dry air is a must-do if you want to survive that gauntlet to the Central Caribbean.
Member Since: August 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3276
Quoting 1614. Stormchaser121:
once Chantal reaches the gulf...it will have a better chance to get stronger.


If it reaches the Gulf. Still has to survive, the ridge has to build sufficiently far westward...

The usual.
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Quoting 1611. JustDucky251:


I've been off all day and am a neophyte at using various models so what are we looking at following Chantal? Is there anything coming across the Atlantic? As the facility manager of a Science Center near Mobile Bay, I like to get as much advance warning as possible, but I am still a rookie.

Trust me you will get the warning early enough if it comes this way.... But I would sit back and wait for more information before I go that far....
And Welcome to the Blog another Mobilian in the mix...

Taco :o)
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Quoting 1611. JustDucky251:


I've been off all day and am a neophyte at using various models so what are we looking at following Chantal? Is there anything coming across the Atlantic? As the facility manager of a Science Center near Mobile Bay, I like to get as much advance warning as possible, but I am still a rookie.


GFS dropped what would be Dorian, so as for now, nothing should be coming your way that is tropical.
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1616. 7544
Quoting 1602. unknowncomic:
This ULL might become Dorian. Most vorticity yet for it.

.


ok im confused is that the same ull we been watching all week from the bahammas or a differnt one it has a nice spin to it tia
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1615. hydrus
Quoting 1577. StormJunkie:



Please, please put the NAM back in the closet until winter...It does not belong in a tropical discussion ;)
Mu ha ha ha !! The NAM 84 HOUR...
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once Chantal reaches the gulf...it will have a better chance to get stronger.
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60 hrs.

Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8579
Quoting 1569. BaltimoreBrian:


That would be informative, wouldn't it?


Adding to what bappit quoted about the stub, all we need is someone who understands all that geography language and can create a map regarding that info. I sure don't know. I would've thought with PR being close enough we could go a little farther south.
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Quoting 1602. unknowncomic:
This ULL might become Dorian. Most vorticity yet for it.

.


I've been off all day and am a neophyte at using various models so what are we looking at following Chantal? Is there anything coming across the Atlantic? As the facility manager of a Science Center near Mobile Bay, I like to get as much advance warning as possible, but I am still a rookie.
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GFS 48 hrs:

Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8579
Quoting 1601. bucyouup68:


Thanks For the Info, anybody that speaks of their political affiliation on a weather blog gets a thumbs up for the Ignore list. You have spoken like a true Democrat.


Same to you. Bye bye
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Quoting 1598. GTstormChaserCaleb:
00z GFS passes under Haiti or along the peninsula there heading primarily west.

Link

27 hrs.

Looks like RIP for Chantal.
Member Since: August 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2066
1607. beell
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1606. bappit
On shortwave IR looks like Chantal is shrinking.

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Look Guys'
This is not the first time nor will it be the last time it happens.... HH found something more south and west then realized they were about to go into some else airspace, so they were told to turn around..... That's it in a nut shell....
My two cents worth

Taco :o)
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1604. ncstorm
the blog was doing so well..
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Goodnight ya'lnl.
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This ULL might become Dorian. Most vorticity yet for it.

.
Member Since: August 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2066
Quoting 1570. CarolinaHurricanes87:


No war... I'm a democrat :-)

But any aid that goes there needs to stop immediately. I wouldn't be opposed to cutting any buying/selling of goods that goes on with them either. It is the principal... HH's trying to save lives, and they put politics ahead of lives. F em


Thanks For the Info, anybody that speaks of their political affiliation on a weather blog gets a thumbs up for the Ignore list. You have spoken like a true Democrat.
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I leave you with this tonight-

Ladies and Gentlemen- The "Chantals"


Maybe


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Quoting 1592. whitewabit:
Venezuela has been restricting US planes from their airspace for many years ..

they have accused the US of flying spy planes and drones over their country for at least 15 years and maybe much longer ..


Hugo Chavez took office in 1998, 15 years ago. That's when it started. Very good whitewabit.
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00z GFS passes under Haiti or along the peninsula there heading primarily west.

Link

27 hrs.

Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8579
Actually, we do have strong commercial ties with Venezuela. They are our largest source of imported oil outside North America. A lot of cross-investment. Citgo is owned by the national Venezuelan oil company.
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Quoting 1593. frostynugs:


Nobody cares about your opinion. Leave your politics off the weather blog please. The first sentence was all that was necessary.


The politics screwed the NHC so they couldn't do their job properly. It's totally appropriate.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
1595. Kumo
Quoting 1540. CarolinaHurricanes87:


I have no idea what our relationship with that country is, but if they are accepting Snowden AND blocking our HH's.... we need to immediately cut any and all ties with that country. Screw them. Long term, they need us more than we need them. Venezuela is an official enemy of the United States as far as I'm concerned


You are entitled to your opinions, but please remember that this is a Multi-National blog. Talking bad about anyone's country on one of these discussion forums is just bad form.

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1594. bappit
Quoting 1569. BaltimoreBrian:


That would be informative, wouldn't it?

"This Puerto Rico-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it."
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Quoting 1527. RTSplayer:
Well, it's a shame if the Snowden ordeal has anything to do with this flight being so poorly executed.

My 2 cents on him, btw.

I figure he's some inexperienced scrub who automatically assumed the law was being violated, when it in fact wasn't. All he's accomplished is ruining his own life and that of his girlfriend, and of course giving potential enemies information which could compromise U.S. national security. In my view, I think he should be extradited to the U.S, but the Russians are playing a cold war card and while they aren't directly opposing the U.S. they aren't cooperating either.

Of course you all know, I want more government surveillance, and I want corporate surveillance so people will have potential counter-evidence in trial. I'm sick of guilty going free, and innocent going to prison.

Ok, enough of that.

Anyway, the entire scenario is a shame if it turns out the snowden situation is what influenced these decisions.


Nobody cares about your opinion. Leave your politics off the weather blog please. The first sentence was all that was necessary.
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1592. whitewabit (Mod)
Venezuela has been restricting US planes from their airspace for many years ..

they have accused the US of flying spy planes and drones over their country for at least 15 years and maybe much longer ..
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Quoting 1540. CarolinaHurricanes87:


I have no idea what our relationship with that country is, but if they are accepting Snowden AND blocking our HH's.... we need to immediately cut any and all ties with that country. Screw them. Long term, they need us more than we need them. Venezuela is an official enemy of the United States as far as I'm concerned


Yeah I would learn a little about the politics between us and them. We have no ties at all with them.
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Quoting 1579. Hurricanes305:


Most people are confuse right about now. this goes from barely having a closed low to being near Hurricane force. I have never seen this before

Really :o) just stick around it does get "Better".... I have been here for a long time and have seen it a bunch over the last 7 years....
LOL

Taco :o)
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Quoting 1533. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Can't wait to see what the models will show now, in some ways this has been comedic :D


I have to say the models have improved big time. Much respect with tech, heck, I am in the tech biz. Still, fundamentals, to me are the challenge. I'm a dying breed. :-). I encourage anyone to learn as much as they can about anything, learn much about various things. I think that's important, and if you are passionate about it, pursue that knowledge and understanding with the bulk of your existence. :-). No regrets! And, it's ok to fail or be wrong sometimes, just don't dwell on it, be pursuantly positive. An humble character travels far. :-)
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
Quoting 1534. BaltimoreBrian:
As I said, Venezuela has been doing this a while.

ZCZC MIATCDAT5 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
TROPICAL STORM EARL DISCUSSION NUMBER 10
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
11 PM EDT SUN AUG 15 2004

IF NOT FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF VENEZUELA THIS PROBABLY WOULD HAVE BEEN
THE LAST ADVISORY ON EARL...AT LEAST FOR NOW. THE RECONNAISSANCE
AIRCRAFT SCHEDULED TO INVESTIGATE EARL THIS EVENING WAS DENIED
ACCESS TO VENEZUELAN AIRSPACE.
HAD THEY BEEN ABLE TO GET TO THE
STORM...I DOUBT THEY WOULD HAVE FOUND A CLOSED CIRCULATION...AS THE
QUIKSCAT AMBIGUITIES AT 22Z LOOK MORE LIKE AN OPEN WAVE.
HOWEVER...THERE IS ENOUGH DOUBT TO KEEP ADVISORIES GOING UNTIL THE
NEXT AIRCRAFT ARRIVES TOMORROW MORNING...AND INDICATIONS ARE THAT
THAT MISSION WILL BE ALLOWED TO PROCEED.

THE INITIAL MOTION IS AN UNCERTAIN 280/19...AS QUIKSCAT AND
MICROWAVE DATA SUGGEST THAT THE LOW-LEVEL CENTER OR WAVE AXIS MAY
BE MOVING OUT SOMEWHAT AHEAD OF THE CONVECTION. GLOBAL MODELS ARE
IN GOOD AGREEMENT ON ENHANCED MID-LEVEL RIDGING OVER FLORIDA AS THE
TROUGH CURRENTLY OVER THE EASTERN UNITED STATES LIFTS OUT OVER THE
NEXT DAY OR TWO. THIS IS EXPECTED TO KEEP EARL...OR ITS
REMNANTS...ON A WEST TO WEST-NORTHWESTERLY TRACK FOR MUCH OF THE
FORECAST PERIOD. NEAR THE END OF THE FORECAST PERIOD...A MORE
NORTHWESTERLY TRACK IS POSSIBLE AS EARL REACHES THE PERIPHERY OF
THE RIDGE. MODEL GUIDANCE SO FAR HAS TENDED TO BE TOO FAR NORTH
WITH EARL...AND THE OFFICIAL FORECAST HAS BEEN ADJUSTED A LITTLE TO
THE LEFT OF THE PREVIOUS TRACK.

THE CLOUD PATTERN OF EARL IS LESS IMPRESSIVE THAN IT WAS EARLIER IN
THE DAY...WITH THE UPPER-LEVEL OUTFLOW PATTERN SEEMINGLY BEING
REPLACED BY A MORE UNIFORM EASTERLY FLOW...AND THE CONVECTION IS
CURRENTLY MEAGER. THE RAPID FORWARD SPEED ALSO CONTINUES TO BE A
NEGATIVE FOR INTENSIFICATION. THE ENVIRONMENT AHEAD OF THE SYSTEM
IS FORECAST BY GLOBAL MODELS TO BE FAVORABLE...HOWEVER...AND BOTH
THE SHIPS AND GFDL MODELS CONTINUE TO ANTICIPATE EARL BECOMING A
HURRICANE. THIS COULD HAPPEN EVEN IF THE SYSTEM DISSIPATES INTO AN
OPEN WAVE TOMORROW.

FORECASTER FRANKLIN

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 16/0300Z 12.7N 65.4W 40 KT
12HR VT 16/1200Z 13.4N 68.6W 40 KT
24HR VT 17/0000Z 14.3N 72.9W 45 KT
36HR VT 17/1200Z 14.9N 76.5W 50 KT
48HR VT 18/0000Z 15.5N 80.0W 60 KT
72HR VT 19/0000Z 17.0N 85.0W 65 KT
96HR VT 20/0000Z 19.0N 89.0W 60 KT...INLAND
120HR VT 21/0000Z 21.0N 93.0W 70 KT...OVER WATER


$$
NNNN


NICE FIND. You notice this was also around an 11pm advisory. A quickly moving, doubtful system. Seems like Venezuela feels they know more about storm systems than we do. I really do think the paranoia on the Venezuelan side is nothing to be surprised about. For anyone that follows their politics it actually shouldn't be a surprise at all.
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I'm done for the night Good nite everyone
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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.