Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Chantal weakens over Hispaniola; some watches discontinued

Tropical Storm Chantal weakened significantly overnight, and may even be downgraded to a tropical wave later today forecasters said Wednesday.

At 8 a.m., maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph, down from 65 mph Tuesday afternoon. Chantal is expected to pass over the Dominican Republic and Haiti Wednesday, where authorities warned of possible landslides and heavy flooding.

A reconnaissance aircraft was scheduled to fly into the storm Wednesday morning. Signs that the storm is falling apart prompted a hurricane watch to be discontinued for the Dominican Republic's southern coast, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

However, a tropical storm warning was still in effect for the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos, and the southeastern Bahamas.

The National Hurricane Center said that on the current forecast track, Chantal's center will be moving near or to the south of Hispaniola and over eastern Cuba on Thursday. However, if the system unravels, remnants will move rapidly westward.

The 8 a.m. forecast track map:

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