Tropical Storm Chantal formed in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of South America late Sunday night, and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is predicting she will be 130 miles east of Miami by Saturday morning.
As of 11AM ET, Chantal’s winds were at 45 MPH and moving WNW at 25 MPH. Tropical Storm Warnings are in place for Barbados, Dominica, Saint Lucia, Martinique, and Guadeloupe. Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Puerto Rico and Saint Vincent. There are no watches or warnings for Florida, but that could change within the next 24-48 hours.
After it crosses the Lesser Antilles, the storm will hit the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba. It will cross the Bahamas Friday night before hitting Florida. However, the NHC warns residents that there is room for error and Chantal could hit Florida earlier than Saturday morning.
There is good news for Florida. NHS predicts Chantal will be a tropical depression when she reaches the state. She should strengthen with 70 MPH winds while south of Puerto Rico, but wind shear will force her to weaken and have winds at 25 MPH when she makes contact with Florida.