Tropical Storm Chantal continues moving west through the Caribbean. Maximum sustained winds are at 45 miles per hour, win thunderstorms on the north and east sides of the tropical storm. Chantal will rapidly continue west-northwest until it approaches eastern Cuba, where it will turn to take a north northwesterly path. The main hazards associated with this storm are gusty winds, storm surges that are one to two feet above normal tide levels, and up to six inches of rainfall.
Tropical storm warnings are in effect for the island of Hispaniola and the southeastern Bahamas. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Jamaica and the central Bahamas. Chantal is expected to weaken as it approaches the island of Jamaica, and by the time it passes over Cuba, it should downgrade to a tropical depression. The latest forecast shows the storm passing over Cuba, downgrading to a depression, and skimming the east coast of Florida on Saturday. So far, the forecast cone does not include our local viewing area. If forecast models agree on a more westward trend, the cone would extend into our eastern counties.