TROPICAL STORM WATCH: T.S. Chantal Weakening


A Tropical Storm Watch remains in effect for Jamaica as weakening Tropical Storm Chantal moves quickly westward and could pass close to the island’s eastern coastline.

This means that tropical storm conditions pose a possible threat to Jamaica within 36 hours.

At 1:00 p.m. the centre of Tropical Storm Chantal was estimated to be near Latitude 16.5 degrees North, Longitude 73.0 degrees West, or about 430 kilometres (270 miles) east-southeast of Kingston or 370 kilometres (230 miles) east-southeast of Morant Point, Jamaica.

The Tropical Storm is moving towards the west near 46 km/h (29 mph). If Chantal remains a tropical cyclone, a turn toward the west-northwest and then northwest, with a gradual decrease in forward speed, is expected during the next 48 hours. A more westward track is likely if Chantal degenerates into a tropical wave.

The centre of the tropical storm is, however, still projected to be near the south coast of Hispaniola today and pass close to northeastern Jamaica on its way to central Cuba on Thursday. If Chantal degenerates into a tropical wave, however, the remnants, including heavy rainfall, are likely to move rapidly westward across Jamaica.

Maximum sustained winds remain near 75 km/h (45 mph), with higher gusts. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 165 km (105 miles) to the north and east of the centre. Further weakening is, however, forecast during the next 48 hours and Chantal is expected to degenerate into a tropical wave later today.

Jamaica could begin feeling effects of Tropical Storm Chantal as early as tonight as the system passes in the vicinity of the island either as a tropical wave or tropical cyclone. The main threat at this time is for outbreaks of heavy showers and thunderstorms to develop over the island, starting with eastern parishes, during the course of tonight and into Thursday. Some flash flooding is, therefore, possible over eastern parishes. Periods of strong, gusty winds are also possible in thunderstorms. Marine operators should remain on alert due to unfavourable sea conditions through Thursday.

The Meteorological Service continues to monitor the progress of this system.

The next Bulletin on Tropical Storm Chantal will be issued at 5:00 p.m. today.

[Press Release: Meteorological Service, Jamaica]

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