As the date changed over to the 8th of July, Tropical Storm Chantal formed in the Central Atlantic from a very sharp tropical wave that was arguably a tropical depression the entire day prior to the National Hurricane Center officially operationally classifying the Tropical Cyclone. Tropical Storm Chantal is currently not a threat to Bermuda – in fact, high pressure and fair weather should remain in place for another few days. But the formation of Chantal could signal an early start to the Cape Verde Hurricane season.
Chantal is currently passing to the north of Barbados with 50mph winds as estimated from yesterday evening’s Hurricane Hunter mission. Showery if not squally weather should be expected in the Lesser Antilles, where tropical storm warnings are in place, as Chantal blows through with forward speeds of 26mph this morning. From there, Chantal will be in the Caribbean where her forward speed should stay fast, keeping any real organization slow if at all.
However, that fast pace is what will get the storm to Hispaniola within 48hours warranting tropical storm watches and warnings for Puerto Rico and the southern coast of Hispaniola. The trade off is here, Tropical Storm Chantal could be a serious flood threat for the mountainous island of Hispaniola – but those same mountains could disrupt the storm’s circulation enough to spare those further in Chantal’s track in the Bahamas and the Atlantic coast of the US Southeast.
Meanwhile, in the Western Pacific, very intense Typhoon Soulik continues to quickly intensify and could threaten Taiwan, Japan’s southernmost islands, and Eastern China later this week. See the Joint Typhoon Warning Center and Japan Meteorological Agency for latest forecasts for that Tropical Cyclone.