The latest advisory and the map we've been watching agree that Chantal
is becoming better organized.


Advisory: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/MIATCPAT4.html


Map: http://www.ghcc.msfc.nasa.gov/GOES/goes8hurrir.html


And set it up as you like.


The thing to point out at this time is that the leading edge of
Chantal, tightening up, has thin margins between fair weather and
pretty heavy storming. If and as this approaches the Cayes, dark
clouds on the horizon will be no joke. The heaviest weather in the
whole big system is now on the leading edge.


Organization has not brought significant strengthening with it, as has
been usual with Chantal. Top winds still 65. Central pressure 1004
millibars, the not-too-impressive range in which she's been varying.


The west-northwestward speed is given as 14 miles an hour. The
projected track is "The Belize-Mexico border". Okay, so they put
Mexico first in their communique'. That was them, this is me. No
offense, but home is home even when I'm not in it.


Also significant: projected rainfall totals up from three to five
inches TO five to eight inches. Now we are talking really serious
rain, anywhere it needs to run off. That much can hurt many people and
pieces of property.


The tidal surge data has not changed, two to three feet.


Tropical storm winds extend out 200 miles on the north and east.
Belize won't be much bothered by what happens to the north and east of
the center.


The great cloudmass of Chantal has been sprawling, splitting, and
puddling all over the place. The approach to the Cayes, which the
center may reach at North Ambergris in about two hours, has looked
more like burgeoning than moving.


But now that there is some organization and it could be important,
I'll concede the center of low pressure may well have been chugging
right along under cover of all that cloudmess, or those cloudmesses.
The center is probably on track and pace for now, the cloudmess rather
than the center being affected by the wall building in to the
northwest. That could change and she could stall, but the appearance
of a stall offshore rather than over the Yucatan was, I admit, a bit
surprising. It may well have been illusory, clouds rather than center.


The center will tend to build weather as it moves, so its advance in a
more organized storm threatens, as mumbled at the beginning, one
minute in sunlight or light cloud and the next in a drownpour with
quite frisky local winds.


Don't get caught far from your hunkerdown.


John Lankford