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 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.
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Quoting 1232. watchingnva:


would that be our center showing up on the long range now?

Certainly looks like it....
Member Since: August 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3255
Quoting 1269. MechEngMet:


Levi I agree completely. What kind of pattern are they flying out there?! It doesn't make any sense at all. Heck now they're heading back NW!!?


C'mon now, y'all ought to cut the flight crew some slack! ;-). Rough job! Lot's easier punchin' buttons in an easy chair. :-)
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1283. hydrus
Quoting 1281. Tazmanian:
goood night all



will check back off and on
G,nite Taz.
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1282. hydrus
Quoting 1263. washingtonian115:
Nothing interesting going on with Chantel and the models have dropped Dorian which is B.S.
Not all the models dropped Dorian..The models grab and drop storms all the time.
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goood night all



will check back off and on
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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.
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Recon did pass over the same spot they crossed 2 hours ago and the wind had shifted:

Time: 00:18:00Z
Coordinates: 15.5333N 66.0333W
Acft. Static Air Press: 842.8 mb (~ 24.89 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,599 meters (~ 5,246 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1012.4 mb (~ 29.90 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 74° at 16 knots (From the ENE at ~ 18.4 mph)
Air Temp: 17.4°C (~ 63.3°F)
Dew Pt: 15.7°C (~ 60.3°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 16 knots (~ 18.4 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 22 knots (~ 25.3 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 0 mm/hr (~ 0 in/hr)
(*) Denotes suspect data

2 hours later, same exact point:

Time: 02:02:00Z
Coordinates: 15.5333N 66.0333W
Acft. Static Air Press: 843.3 mb (~ 24.90 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,605 meters (~ 5,266 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1013.8 mb (~ 29.94 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 144° at 23 knots (From the SE at ~ 26.4 mph)
Air Temp: 18.0°C (~ 64.4°F)
Dew Pt: 14.8°C (~ 58.6°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 23 knots (~ 26.4 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 24 knots (~ 27.6 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 0 mm/hr (~ 0 in/hr)
(*) Denotes suspect data
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 2342
Looks like the Arecibo Observatory is working overtime...


Atmospheric Science is the investigation of the earth's gaseous envelope. Experiments performed at Arecibo measure upper atmosphere composition, temperature and densities in order to understand the controlling physical processes. The Arecibo Radio Telescope can measure the growth and decay of disturbances in the changing layers of charged particles which populate the region known as the ionosphere ( altitudes above 30 miles ). The "big dish" is also used to study plasma physics processes in the electrically charged regions of the earth's atmosphere. where radio waves are influenced most.

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what is the strongest they have found 55 Kt ?
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I honestly don't know what recon are trying to do...
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Quoting 1255. Levi32:
This is the part where I wish they would just dive directly into the ball of -70C°C cloud tops and see what happens. They've been avoiding where the center likely is so far, it seems.



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.
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Quoting 1267. unknowncomic:
Its only mid July..you ain't seen nuthin yet.


This is going to be a long season
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1272. hydrus
I am betting the next system in the MDR will be much stronger than Chantal.


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Quoting 1234. Patrap:
The Chart


Ahh, ah, ahhhh, ah, ahhhhh....



Danged, that's scary, more than ever this year! Long season ahead. :-(
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Where dey goin'?
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Quoting 1255. Levi32:
This is the part where I wish they would just dive directly into the ball of -70C°C cloud tops and see what happens. They've been avoiding where the center likely is so far, it seems.



Levi I agree completely. What kind of pattern are they flying out there?! It doesn't make any sense at all. Heck now they're heading back NW!!?
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Quoting 1263. washingtonian115:
Nothing interesting going on with Chantel and the models have dropped Dorian which is B.S.


don't count it out just yet
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Quoting 1263. washingtonian115:
Nothing interesting going on with Chantel and the models have dropped Dorian which is B.S.
Its only mid July..you ain't seen nuthin yet.
Member Since: August 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1941
1266. Patrap
At 02:07:30Z (last observation), the observation was 202 miles (325 km) to the S (185°) from San Juan, Puerto Rico (USA)


Product: Air Force High Density (HDOB) Message (URNT15 KNHC)
Transmitted: 10th day of the month at 02:07Z
Date: July 10, 2013
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 306)
Storm Number: 03
Storm Name: Chantal (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 3
Observation Number: 21

02:07:30Z 15.500N 66.317W 842.9 mb
(~ 24.89 inHg) 1,611 meters
(~ 5,285 feet) 1014.0 mb
(~ 29.94 inHg) - From 139° at 20 knots
(From the SE at ~ 23.0 mph) 17.1°C
(~ 62.8°F) 16.4°C
(~ 61.5°F) 21 knots
(~ 24.1 mph) 22 knots
(~ 25.3 mph) 0 mm/hr
(~ 0 in/hr) 21.0 knots (~ 24.1 mph)
104.8%
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: 424 Comments: 128347
From recon:

RADAR FIX PSBL CENTER 14.9N 65.25W. POOR RADAR PRESENTATION, MET ACCURACY 10NM


So they then fly away from possible center? lol
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
Quoting 1255. Levi32:
This is the part where I wish they would just dive directly into the ball of -70C°C cloud tops and see what happens. They've been avoiding where the center likely is so far, it seems.



Its driving me crazy...

need...
more...
data..
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Nothing interesting going on with Chantel and the models have dropped Dorian which is B.S.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16980
Quoting 1258. bucyouup68:
It will be a new day tomorrow with this unpredictable storm. I am sure it will change paths at least a dozen times by 4pm Eastern.


I don't doubt it with this thing
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Quoting 1257. Jedkins01:
Getting an insane lightning show tonight. Constant lightning over the past hour to my north. I had a nice thunderstorm with a few close lightning hits and some good downpours.

There was yet another tornado in the Tampa Bay area again triggered by the sea breeze collision, it produced some damage to a mobile home park.

I caught a shot of a wall cloud and some rotation with a thunderstorm at sunset, it was another interesting night :)


We were spared tonight in South Pinellis, but si see the lightning to the north.
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It will be a new day tomorrow with this unpredictable storm. I am sure it will change paths at least a dozen times by 4pm Eastern.
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Getting an insane lightning show tonight. Constant lightning over the past hour to my north. I had a nice thunderstorm with a few close lightning hits and some good downpours.

There was yet another tornado in the Tampa Bay area again triggered by the sea breeze collision, it produced some damage to a mobile home park.

I caught a shot of a wall cloud and some rotation with a thunderstorm at sunset, it was another interesting night :)
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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


Troll Alert.....Troll Alert !!
Member Since: September 8, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2209
1255. Levi32
This is the part where I wish they would just dive directly into the ball of -70C°C cloud tops and see what happens. They've been avoiding where the center likely is so far, it seems.

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Quoting 1231. unknowncomic:
good answer.


Thank ya
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Too early to tell where she is going. We must wait for land interaction and see how she react.
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Quoting 1241. Patrap:

At 01:57:30Z (last observation), the observation was 190 miles (306 km) to the S (175°) from San Juan, Puerto Rico (USA).

Product: Air Force High Density (HDOB) Message (URNT15 KNHC)
Transmitted: 10th day of the month at 01:57Z
Date: July 10, 2013
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 306)
Storm Number: 03
Storm Name: Chantal (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 3
Observation Number: 20


01:57:30Z 15.667N 65.833W 842.9 mb
(~ 24.89 inHg) 1,612 meters
(~ 5,289 feet) 1014.4 mb
(~ 29.96 inHg) - From 142° at 28 knots
(From the SE at ~ 32.2 mph) 17.3°C
(~ 63.1°F) 14.7°C
(~ 58.5°F) 29 knots
(~ 33.3 mph) 28 knots
(~ 32.2 mph) 0 mm/hr
(~ 0 in/hr) 27.0 knots (~ 31.1 mph)
96.6%
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


Well, they need to be almost a degree south of that, and slightly west of that.
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Quoting 1186. Grothar:
Really shifted west.


and it will continue to shift west
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Quoting 1235. hydrus:
Looks like someone dropped an egg.
Soulik is a bona-fide monster.
They say opposites attract.
Member Since: August 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1941
Quoting 1234. Patrap:
The Chart


Ahh, ah, ahhhh, ah, ahhhhh....



LOL wow, July 10 is normally very quiet.
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or a radar optical illusion, since shes so far away still...I know that faux center on radar is right where the big burst of convection has popped the last couple hours...
Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 1516
is this wave going RI? this is looking really good now if this keeps going we may see a yellow %20 ch by 2 or 8am


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Quoting 1236. wunderkidcayman:

hmm could be


yep


that make no sense you disagree then you agree



yep


nah West



lol your a crazy kid this made me rofl
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Quoting 1209. bucyouup68:
Everything that comes off the African Coast seems to disappear, What gives?
SAL, and water temp not high enough yet.
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Me too, Spathy... It's the sloppy ones that catch so many off guard. Anyone living in Florida should be paying attention. As soggy as we are we don't need the additional rainfall. A storm will bring additional flooding. Yuk!
Quoting 1226. spathy:






Yup.

And I really hate the sloppy storms. Its like the storm wants me to watch it more closely.
Note from Chantal:
HaHa
Made ya look
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1242. FOREX
Quoting 1150. SavannahStorm:


A all the way


c
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1241. Patrap

At 01:57:30Z (last observation), the observation was 190 miles (306 km) to the S (175°) from San Juan, Puerto Rico (USA).

Product: Air Force High Density (HDOB) Message (URNT15 KNHC)
Transmitted: 10th day of the month at 01:57Z
Date: July 10, 2013
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 306)
Storm Number: 03
Storm Name: Chantal (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 3
Observation Number: 20


01:57:30Z 15.667N 65.833W 842.9 mb
(~ 24.89 inHg) 1,612 meters
(~ 5,289 feet) 1014.4 mb
(~ 29.96 inHg) - From 142° at 28 knots
(From the SE at ~ 32.2 mph) 17.3°C
(~ 63.1°F) 14.7°C
(~ 58.5°F) 29 knots
(~ 33.3 mph) 28 knots
(~ 32.2 mph) 0 mm/hr
(~ 0 in/hr) 27.0 knots (~ 31.1 mph)
96.6%
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: 424 Comments: 128347
1240. hydrus
Quoting 1234. Patrap:
The Chart


Ahh, ah, ahhhh, ah, ahhhhh....

As I kowtow in a obse....oh nevermind...:)
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Gonna head out myself. I must say, this is the most exciting early July I have seen on the Blog in some time.....Just wait until August. See Yall in the AM.
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Quoting 1218. RTSplayer:


Have they even made a pass on the south side of the previous alleged center fix from the last advisory?

All I saw was they came in from the NE, and then instead of penetrating straight through, they did a 90 to the NW and then went east a few degrees and came back down at about a 60 degree angle from the NW. They never even made it to the alleged center fix, and the real center was probably south of that.


That's what I was seeing, but they're heading back south now. I don't think the center is where they expected it to be.
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Quoting 1228. weatherlover94:



Hello and welcome to the blog. It is really to early to tell right now....stick with us for the next few days as we all work together to figure out where it's going and what it might do


will do! thank you!
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Quoting 1170. stormpetrol:
There is a center it's just not where they expected it to be! Its further south they need to fly around 14.5 N and well west of 65W, they'll find west winds.

hmm could be

Quoting 1173. weatherlover94:
the NHC is going to have to shift everything south and west tonight

yep

Quoting 1181. MechEngMet:


Concur; They are looking too far North.

that make no sense you disagree then you agree

Quoting 1186. Grothar:
Really shifted west.



yep

Quoting 1190. GeoffreyWPB:
A little shift to the east....


nah West

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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.