01 August 2006

Chris forms near Leeward Islands...

Back on July 24, a tropical wave left the African coast.  At 03Z today, that vigorous wave was upgraded to TD3 based on buoy and satellite data.  Although initially fairly disorganized, vertical wind shear has relaxed and the Depression was further upgraded to the third named storm of the season, Tropical Storm Chris, at 09Z today.  It is still not well-organized -- the center is hard to find and the deep convection is scattered.

It is located just east of the islands of Barbuda and Antigua in the Leeward Island chain and heading for them, moving WNW at 9kts.  The latest intensity estimate (15Z) is 35kts and 1009mb.  Tropical Storm Warnings and Watches cover the northern Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico, respectively.

The forecast is for continued strengthening over the next several days, and the track should take it over the Virgin Islands, north of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and Cuba, and through the Bahamas.  It presently appears that the southeast coast of Florida will want to monitor this storm very closely, as it could affect the state by Sunday as at least a strong TS.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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