Tropical Storm Chantal formed in the tropical Atlantic Ocean late Sunday night (Eastern U.S. time) and is racing west toward the Lesser Antilles.
The system developed as a strong tropical wave with tropical storm force winds before finally developing a closed circulation late Sunday night, thus bypassing the tropical depression phase and becoming Tropical Storm Chantal straightaway.
Tropical storm warnings have been issued for Barbados, Dominica, Saint Lucia, Martinique and Guadeloupe. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Saint Vincent. Additional islands in the Lesser Antilles may go under watches and warnings Monday as Chantal approaches. Tropical storm conditions are expected in these areas by early Tuesday.
After crossing the Lesser Antilles, Chantal is expected to affect portions of the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba (see the latest projected path map below).
Residents in the mainland U.S. will have to pay attention to this system. The current forecast takes the center of Chantal over the Bahamas Friday into early Saturday, but given the margin of error in the forecast, parts of Florida could be affected as well at the end of the workweek.
Here is the latest information on this system:
The latest forecast path and wind speeds from the National Hurricane Center.
So, where exactly is the cyclone's center located now? If you're plotting the storm along with us, click on the "Current Information" map below to get the latitude/longitude coordinates, distance away from the nearest land location, maximum sustained winds and central pressure (measured in millibars).
How does the system look on satellite imagery. Click on "infrared" satellite imagery, to see how "cold" the cloud tops are. Brighter orange and red shadings concentrated near the center of circulation signify a healthy tropical cyclone.
Tropical Storm/Hurricane Watches/Warnings
A tropical storm or hurricane warning means tropical storm or hurricane conditions, respectively, are expected in the specified area within 36 hours. A watch means those respective conditions are expected within 48 hours.
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National Weather Service
'This is the scene in many areas across Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. Location: near the Miami International Airport. Pic courtesy of Adrian Linares.' (NWS Miami/Adrian Linares)