LAFAYETTE, LA — Tropical Storm Chantal continues its speedy journey west-northwest, toward the eastern edge of the Caribbean Sea, Monday afternoon.
The first chain of islands impacted by this storm will be the Lesser Antilles mid-morning Tuesday. Tropical storm watches and warning stretch along the eastern Caribbean border islands and extend northward into Puerto Rico. Gusty winds and heavy rainfall will be the main threats for residents living on the Leeward and Windward Islands over the next 24-hours.
At the 1:00 p.m. Monday update from the National Hurricane Center or NHC, meteorologists said Chantal continues its west-northwest movement of 25 mph. Winds were sustained around 45 mph, with gusts up to 52 mph and the pressure of 1005 mb.
After barreling into the Caribbean Sea on Tuesday, forecasters at the NHC predict Chantal will begin slowing down as it moves south Puerto Rico early Wednesday. After moving over Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba on Wednesday, the forecast track pushes Chantal into the Bahamas around Friday morning and skirting east of Florida as a weaker cyclone by Saturday.
Right now, south Louisiana will not need to be concerned about Chantal making landfall in the northern Gulf of Mexico. However, it is always important to stay prepared.