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By: louisianaboy444 , 8:06 PM GMT on July 09, 2013
Hello, This is your tropical update for July 9th, 2013
First off, everyone's concern is of course Tropical Storm Chantal in the Eastern Caribbean.
The latest GOES Float Visible Satellite from 1845 UTC shows some outflow on its eastern side. It also shows a squashed experience on its left quadrant. This is a combination of some dry air being entrained into the circulation and the effects of some westerly shear on the system. The dry air can be seen in the water vapor image below.
Hurricane Hunter Aircraft found strong flight-level winds and a central pressure of 1006mb which yields a raise in intensity to 55kts or 65mph as of the 200pm advisory. The storm was still racing off to the WNW at 29mph. The latest track takes Chantal towards the Dominican Republic tomorrow evening emerging the storm in the southern Bahamas by Thursday morning. I am starting to feel that this storm may try and track further west possibly making landfall near the southwestern part of Haiti instead. Here is the reason why:
This is the 12Z GFS 500mb Geopotential heights. Chantal or what is left of it is very near Hispaniola at this point in time. You can see the ridge to the north still holding strong with a easterly flow north of the system. This leads me to believe that the ridge may stay strong in the short term possibly bringing the storm very near the northeastern part of Cuba during the 36-42 hour time-frame.You can also see the 500mb reflection of the upper-level low over South Florida that is helping to open up the weakness between the two ridges right over Florida.
Moving ahead to 60 hrs on the 12Z GFS Geopotential Height map you can see the ridge to the east of Chantal with a pretty distinct weakness right over the Florida Mainland. For this reason I am thinking that this storm may track very near or even over the Florida Peninsula. Some of the latest models are starting to come around to that solution.
I also agree with the fact that Chantal will stay fairly weak once approaching the Bahamas. Here is the 12Z GFS 200-850mb mean shear product for the time period of 48 hours out. By this point in time Chantal will be in the Southern Bahamas. You can see a belt of strong westerly shear right over the region at the same time period.
The combination of westerly shear and land interaction will most likely keep the storm weak after 36 hours. Peak intensity looks to happen over the next 24 hours. The National Hurricane Center is going with a peak intensity of 70 mph which looks good for now. Hispaniola looks like it will be hardest hit by this system at the moment.
Elsewhere the tropics remain quiet for now but long-range models show development in the Main Development Region (MDR) in the next 3 days or so near the Cape Verde Islands. This storm looks like it may try to make the long journey across the Atlantic also. Sorry this update had to be so short and also late. Work was a bit crazy today! More updates to come.
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.
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