Fishel: Too soon to tell Tropical Storm Chantal's impact on NC

Posted July 7, 2013
Updated July 8, 2013

— Tropical Storm Chantal is racing toward the Lesser Antilles after forming in the Atlantic, but WRAL meteorologists said it's too soon to tell whether North Carolina is in its path. 

"There are no concrete indications that it will affect us," said Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel. "It's still a long ways away."

The storm formed southwest of the island chain Sunday night to become the third named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.

At 5 p.m. Monday, Chantal had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph and was moving west-northwest at 26 mph. The storm is about 2,400 miles southeast of Raleigh. 

A tropical storm warning was in effect for Barbados, Dominica, Saint Lucia, Martinique and Guadeloupe, and a tropical storm watch was in effect for Saint Vincent.

The center of Chantal was forecast to approach late Monday night or early Tuesday and move into the East Caribbean Sea on Tuesday.

"It becomes a low pressure system, just a tropical depression off the coast of Florida, by the weekend, but it's awfully close to the coast," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. "As much rain as we've had lately, even if this is just a tropical depression and comes up into North Carolina, it could cause some issues for us in terms of flooding."

Gardner said any effects from Chantal wouldn't affect North Carolina until early next week.

Meanwhile in the Pacific, Tropical Storm Erick is nearing the southern portion of Mexico's Baja California peninsula, where a tropical storm warning is in effect.

Erick's maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 50 mph (85 kph) with gradual weakening expected to continue over the next two days.


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  • smurph92703 Jul 8, 2013

    ONLY IF WE'RE LUCKY! Nothing would surprise me after the late spring/early summer deluge we've been having!

  • Cock a doodle doo Jul 8, 2013

    @ Monkeyface.

    I don't need to take a dive in shallow water at the beach which is closely affected by the air temperature to make a ridiculous effort to make it apply to the copious amounts of scientific data provided by instruments.

  • jblake1932 Jul 8, 2013

    I got more rain out of the all night storms last nite than today. I like it when they say a 30% chance of rain like last nite's forecast. That always means a gully washer is coming.

  • jblake1932 Jul 8, 2013

    It'll have to be around two days away from NC before they can tell with no more than 50% accuracy if it will impact us.

  • dwntwnboy2 Jul 8, 2013

    "My cats have started to grow gills"- mmmmmmm catfish!! LOL

  • dwntwnboy2 Jul 8, 2013

    Round and round and round it goes, where it strikes land, no one knows. Doesn't look like much now, but then again, Katrina wasn't a BIG storm until just before it hit land, it went from a 2-3 to a 4-5 in a matter of hours. Hoping of course that this amounts to nothing, but I'm not going to stop watching where it goes.

  • MonkeyFace Jul 8, 2013

    CDoodle.. The water is still cool. When's the last time you took a dive in the sea?

  • Obamacare rules Jul 8, 2013

    Seriously, this doesn't look like a very potent system and we'll probably get less rain and wind from it than we have from some of our super-soakers over the past couple of weeks.

    Nothing to worry about folks.

  • Cock a doodle doo Jul 8, 2013

    "The water temp is still so cool right now off our coast" -MonkeyFace

    No it isn't. The water temp is 82 degrees or higher at most buoys off the coast, even as far north as off the Delmarva peninsula. That's plenty warm for storm sustenance.

  • busyb97 Jul 8, 2013

    This wouldnt have to even be a big storm....either a fair amount of rain, or even decent wind (not tropical even) ,..either scenario would be bad right now. We need more time to dry out. But if it contains both....? Yikes