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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Just put together a clip with some of my highlights from this past storm chase season, check it out!

Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8339
Quoting 1319. bappit:
Amateurs in the cheap seats know more than the pros? Then they should get out there and fly the plane.
For your info the seat vI'm sitting in was 700$.lol.But the price tag is real..
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16971
20 west!!
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1333. Dakster
Quoting 1319. bappit:
Amateurs in the cheap seats know more than the pros? Then they should get out there and fly the plane.


I'd love to be an observer on a flight. (With lots of dramamine and wearing depends though)
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10282
1332. raggpr
I just got a wind gust of 35 mph on the southeast part of Puerto Rico
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Quoting 1319. bappit:
Amateurs in the cheap seats know more than the pros? Then they should get out there and fly the plane.


Well, the problem is they are focusing so much on the NW quadrant discrepancy, and haven't even done anything with the other 3/4ths of the storm, like they are supposed to run a clover route covering all quadrants. Nothing of the sort was done so far.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
the model spread now ranges from South Carolina to Louisiana
Member Since: September 8, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2209
1329. will40
Quoting 1319. bappit:
Amateurs in the cheap seats know more than the pros? Then they should get out there and fly the plane.


we can send Stormtop out there in his crop duster lol
Member Since: September 19, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 4227
The JTWC has officially updated Typhoon Soulik's strength to 125kts and have updated their forcast (click to enlarge).



Typhoon Soulik

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1327. GetReal
Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8874
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1325. Levi32
Quoting 1276. spathy:



I was wondering if they were making the best use of flight time. Noticing a convection flareup,study the surroundings and give the flareup time to do something before going in.


Perhaps. I'm impatient lol.
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Quoting 1316. Relix:
PR Government closes tomorrow. I don't see any reason why. As I said... directly S of me; no rain whatsoever. What a bust :P


Small circulation (convection anyway,) and 210 miles away, so yeah. Might get a stray shower or something.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
1323. will40
hh hasnt updated on the Atlantic site in quite a while
Member Since: September 19, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 4227
Quoting 1317. RTSplayer:


You're probably right. They're not even certain of the data, so how could they possibly be certain of the forecast?



and even more model spread since 5:00
Member Since: September 8, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2209
Quoting 1291. OracleDeAtlantis

So when you boil it all down, Chantal references a group of mountains in central France that used to be a giant volcano, but which has become inactive for the past 10,000 years or so, and has weathered down to what we see today.

She is named properly--keeps weathering down.
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1320. Dakster
I also think that the Northern Bahamas get TS Watches posted. Especially since Chantal is showing no signs of slowing down.

I'm a gonna have to get out there and give her a speeding ticket.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10282
1319. bappit
Amateurs in the cheap seats know more than the pros? Then they should get out there and fly the plane.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6022
1318. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128273
Quoting 1310. canehater1:
Betcha 5 bucks "Uncertain" is one word that will be
in next advisory....


You're probably right. They're not even certain of the data, so how could they possibly be certain of the forecast?
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
1316. Relix
PR Government closes tomorrow. I don't see any reason why. As I said... directly S of me; no rain whatsoever. What a bust :P
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2722
Quoting 1310. canehater1:
Betcha 5 bucks "Uncertain" is one word that will be
in next advisory....


I'll Betcha 10
Member Since: September 8, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2209
1314. Dakster
Quoting 1310. canehater1:
Betcha 5 bucks "Uncertain" is one word that will be
in next advisory....


Along with low confidence.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10282
1313. viman
Not looking too good from the HH point of view,
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1312. GetReal
Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8874
1311. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128273
Betcha 5 bucks "Uncertain" is one word that will be
in next advisory....
Member Since: September 8, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 1068
Quoting 1290. lobdelse81:
Sort of...sort of. The difference so far between this year and 2012 (and 2011 as well) was that a lot more storms are forming in the MDR. Though I have to say Chantal reminds me a lot of Emily of 2011. She took a similar path, over Hispaniola, and then fell apart over the island. This could be a carbon copy.

Emily kinda fell apart next to Hispaniola
Chantal is disorganized but I think Emily was worse and Chantal might be able to survive the crossing
even if she doesn't Emily reformed over the Bahamas Chantal could as well
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1308. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128273
It looks to me from satt. images that Ull has shifted South and is acting to spin convection and moisture from N fl into Chantals circulation. Is the movement of ULL S going to slow Chantal? Since I don't really understand the relationship between these two systems. Can anyone tell me how ULL will act on Chantal? Is it too weak to effect the storm, or is it, as it appears actually feeding moisture in?
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 338
1306. vlaming
Quoting 1274. RTSplayer:


So for the HH hasn't even justified the cost of the mission. I don't understand why they are being so incompetent about this flight.


Awesome, I am sure you are more than qualified to judge their competency
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Quoting 1297. weatherlover94:


we all on here wishcast a little....you don't meet the criteria for a troll just yet :P


Cool, I will try to not become one... but sometimes I have a hard time to stay calm when the rain avoids me XD
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Quoting 1299. hurricanes2018:
HERE WE GO AGAIN!!


YES!
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Sort of...sort of. The difference so far between this year and 2012 (and 2011 as well) was that a lot more storms are forming in the MDR. Though I have to say Chantal reminds me a lot of Emily of 2011. She took a similar path, over Hispaniola, and then fell apart over the island. This could be a carbon copy.
Quoting 1254. jeffreeysweetypie:
so far this is a carbon copy of last year when most of the storms fizzled out or recurved or fell apart after they came off the african coast
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1301. Patrap
Pilot, Lt. Col. Mark Carter admires the sunset after 9 hours of flying into a hurricane. The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters of the 403rd Wing, Air Force Reserve, fly 24-hours-a-day, collecting data inside the heart of Mother Nature's fury. The data collected by the Hurricane Hunters improve the National Hurricane Center forecast by 30 percent.



www.facebook.com/AWRAa
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128273
Quoting 1298. Relix:
Man not even rain here in PR and its directly south of us. Underwhelming


Bust written all over it ;)
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HERE WE GO AGAIN!!
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1298. Relix
Man not even rain here in PR and its directly south of us. Underwhelming
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2722
Quoting 1289. CaribBoy:


Lol with all my complains about the lack of rain in the N Leewards.... I must be a big troll + a big wish caster :)


we all on here wishcast a little....you don't meet the criteria for a troll just yet :P
Member Since: September 8, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2209
Quoting 1245. chrisdscane:


lol your a crazy kid this made me rofl

#1 I'm not crazy so say it one more time and your flagged
#2 I'm not a kid well not anymore not for a good while now
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Quoting 1284. moonlightcowboy:


C'mon now, y'all ought to cut the flight crew some slack! ;-). Rough job! Lot's easier punchin' buttons in an easy chair. :-)


Okay yes you are correct. But I thought they would look for the center fix first then go study the atmosphere around. Near the end of the mission go find the center again to get storm heading and speed.

I just looks like they are trying to avoid the center. Have you looked at the flight path tonight?
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1294. SLU
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Quoting 1270. FSUCOOPman:


Where dey goin'?



It's possible they are trying to account for why the winds are blowing 90 degrees in the wrong direction in that part of the storm. Maybe the screwed up outflow situation has something to do with that. That seems ridiculous given how high the cloud tops would be, but I can't think of a better explanation.


Look on channel 4 unenhanced and zoom way in. What you'll see is the core of strong convection, over the past few frames, developed some outflow and blew the other clouds away to the NW. I think this is the best explanation of the inconsistent wind data.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting 1280. hurricanes2018:
this TROPICAL WAVE e is looking better by the hours with a big spin and heavy rain and t.storm with it,, maybe the invest 96L COMING SOON.


I hope so... I want to forget today's bust
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Chantal meaning and name origin:

Chantal \ch(an)-tal\ as a girl's name is pronounced shahn-TAL. It is of Old French origin, and the meaning of Chantal is "stone". From "cantal".

As some of you may remember, I typically do an etymological analysis of each storm name during hurricane season.

Usually these are pretty straight forward, and the root or origin is relatively easy to determine. However, with "Chantal" I've found it much more difficult.

The name "Chantal" comes from the name of a group of mountains in south central France, called the Cantal Massif.

A "massif" is a small group of mountains, and in this case these mountains are the remnants of a much larger single mountain, that millions of years ago was the largest volcano in Europe. So I'm getting a real lesson in geography this time.

Sometimes when I can't easily find the root origin of a name, it's because the name is associated with a place name that was originally spoken in a local native tongue. Such appears to be the case with Chantal, which stems from the French "Cantal," that in turn comes from the Mediterranean word "kanto," meaning rock or stone.

So when you boil it all down, Chantal references a group of mountains in central France that used to be a giant volcano, but which has become inactive for the past 10,000 years or so, and has weathered down to what we see today.

I've included a graphic below to help illustrate.

This is certainly one of the more interesting names I've researched.





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Sort of...sort of. The difference so far between this year and 2012 (and 2011 as well) was that a lot more storms are forming in the MDR. Though I have to say Chantal reminds me a lot of Emily of 2011. She took a similar path, over Hispaniola, and then fell apart over the island. This could be a carbon copy.
Quoting 1256. weatherlover94:


Troll Alert.....Troll Alert !!
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Quoting 1256. weatherlover94:


Troll Alert.....Troll Alert !!


Lol with all my complains about the lack of rain in the N Leewards.... I must be a big troll + a big wish caster :)
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Uploaded with ImageShack.us

??
Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 1516
Quoting 1282. hydrus:
Not all the models dropped Dorian..The models grab and drop storms all the time.


The 18Z runs are always less reliable that the 0Z and 12 Z
Member Since: September 8, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2209
Quoting 1267. unknowncomic:
Its only mid July..you ain't seen nuthin yet.
Didn't say anything about what time of the month it was(Lol) but referring that Chantal is acting like she doesn't want to be alive along with the GFS not developing Dorian which I disagree with.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16971

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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.