Tropical Storm Chantal Heads Toward Caribbean, Could Gain Strength

Monday, 08 Jul 2013 03:59 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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Tropical Storm Chantal was headed for the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean on Monday and could possibly gain strength.

The Associated Press reports that Chantal, which formed in the Atlantic, generated tropical storm warnings for Barbados, Dominica, St. Lucia, Martinique, and Guadeloupe. A tropical storm watch encompassed Puerto Rico and St. Vincent, the AP says, adding that AccuWeather’s Kristina Pydynowski estimated showers and thunderstorms across the Florida peninsula could increase because of Chantal.

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The storm’s winds were near 45 mph and it is expected to escalate over the next two days.

The Florida Panhandle already is seeing an unusually rainy season, according to Miami’s CBS local affiliate. Many Fourth of July events were canceled or rescheduled due to rain. Flash flood warnings are in effect around Pensacola until Tuesday, the station reported.

The Miami Herald reported that Chantal could bring “nastier” weather to Florida, but said it’s too soon to tell because the storm’s path is unsure.

As Chantal moves toward the Caribbean, Tropical Storm Erick, which was downgraded from a hurricane on Sunday, is dissipating in the Pacific, according to Fox News

The news site said weather forecasters still predict problems from Erick, even though it remains offshore, with Baja California expected to see heavy rains, mudslides, and flash floods. Erick was the fourth hurricane in the current season.

CBS News said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center forecasts "'an active or extremely active' hurricane season this year, with a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms, of which three to six could be major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5)."

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