Tropical Storm Chantal forms in North Atlantic

A new tropical storm has formed in the Atlantic north of Bermuda, but currently poses no threat to land, forecasters said on Wednesday.

Chantal, which formed late on Tuesday, is only the third named storm of the Atlantic season, but meteorologists expect activity to pick up in the run-up to the statistical peak on September 10.

Forecasters are also monitoring an area of disturbed weather over the Bahamas which could bring rain and flooding to South Florida this weekend.

At noon Bermuda time on Wednesday, Chantal, located 455 miles south of Cape Race, Newfoundland, was packing winds of 40 miles per hour with higher gusts and heading east at 20 mph.

Forecasters expect Chantal to turn towards the southeast with a decrease in forward speed by Thursday. Gradual weakening is anticipated with Chantal expected to become a tropical depression in a couple of days’ time.

The experts say it is unusual for a storm to develop so far north, but water temperatures are running three to four degrees Fahrenheit above average in the North Atlantic.

The US-based Climate Prediction Centre of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said earlier this month it expects activity to be higher than usual this season, with 10 to 17 named storms, including five to nine hurricanes.

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