National Hurricane Center meteorological discussion, 11:00 AM Eastern:
ALTHOUGH SATELLITE IMAGERY SUGGESTED THAT CHANTAL NO LONGER HAD A CLOSED CIRCULATION THIS MORNING…THANKS TO DATA FROM AN AIR FORCE HURRICANE HUNTER PLANE CURRENTLY INVESTIGATING CHANTAL…WE WERE ABLE TO LOCATE ENOUGH OF A CIRCULATION TO MAINTAIN ADVISORIES. INITIAL INTENSITY IS 40 KNOTS [45 MPH] BUT GIVEN THE STRONG SHEAR THAT IS EXPECTED TO PREVAIL ALONG THE PATH OF CHANTAL…ALONG WITH THE INFLUENCE OF SURROUNDING LAND…THE OFFICIAL FORECAST CALLS FOR GRADUAL WEAKENING. CHANTAL WILL LIKELY DISSIPATE IN 3 DAYS…OR PERHAPS MUCH EARLIER.
Some meteorologists disagree with the NHC’s decision not to downgrade Chantal or declare her dissipated. But regardless, she remains officially a Tropical Storm, for now.
Chantal is so weak, however, that lower-level steering currents are dominating her movement, which has resulted in more of a continued west-northwest track instead of the expected northwest turn — as I mentioned was possible last night. The official forecast has caught up with this conventional wisdom, and now has the storm’s center missing Hispaniola altogether.
Beyond that, the computer model forecast tracks are all over the map, literally:
Lots of model spread now with a weak Chantal. Not sure it survives. pic.twitter.com/1qt7oASQKj
— James Spann (@spann) July 10, 2013
It remains possible that, once Chantal reaches more favorable conditions in the Bahamas (or maybe the Gulf??), she could restrengthen, either from her current barely-holding-on state, or even from a remnant low or tropical wave if she does eventually dissipate. But that’s very speculative. For now, it’s hard to draw many conclusions, except that this storm is really weak at the moment, and that forecasters don’t know if it will ever amount to anything (and, if so, where it will go).
As I say at the end of each post: I’ll keep updating Weather Nerd when I can. In the mean time, follow me on Twitter (@brendanloy) for more frequent storm updates (largely in the form of retweets), as well as tweets about various other, unrelated topics. Another good resource for the latest information on Chantal is Amy Sweezey’s “Wx Tweeps” Twitter list.