Tropical Storm Chantal May Break Apart in Caribbean

Tropical Storm Chantal may be falling apart in the Caribbean Sea south of the Dominican Republic, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

A reconnaissance plane will fly into the storm later today to see if it still has the structure and strength to be classified a tropical storm, the Miami-based hurricane center said in an advisory at 8 a.m. New York time.

“If the reconnaissance plane verifies that Chantal has degenerated into a tropical wave all tropical cyclone watches and warnings will be discontinued,” the center said in the advisory.

Overnight, Chantal lost strength and structure as it made its way through the Caribbean. Larger weather patterns also pushed its projected track further to the west, taking away from a direct strike on the Dominican Republic and potentially sending it into Cuba tomorrow.

A hurricane watch that had been posted for the Dominican Republic when forecasters believed Chantal’s winds would reach 70 miles (113 kilometers) per hour was dropped earlier today. The storm’s top winds are currently 45 mph and they aren’t expected to get stronger through the next five days, according to the hurricane center.

At 8 a.m., Chantal was about 155 miles south-southwest of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, moving west at 29 mph, the advisory showed.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the entire coast of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, as well as the Turks and Caicos islands and the southeastern Bahamas, the hurricane center said.

A watch has been issued for the central Bahamas.

Chantal may bring 3 to 6 inches of rain across Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and the southeastern Bahamas, according to the center.

(Corrects to note tropical storm warning issued for Haiti, Turks and Caicos and the Dominican Republic in seventh paragraph.)
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