TS Chantal Surf Outlook

Fri 12th Update

Chantal continues as an ex-tropical storm with a likely path almost identical to yesterdays outlook. However a slight improvement in upper level winds means the chances of her reforming into a tropical storm raise slightly to 30% - something to watch for over the next day or so.

As it stands Georgia and South Carolina are still set to cop the most swell as the storm moves over a short fetch to impact the coast directly. But given peak winds are forecast to not exceed around 30mph the short fetch and weakness of this system really limit the swell size and period even for the most exposed coasts. Local winds remain an issue as what there is of the swell peaks on Sunday. If conditions do prove favourable to intensification of the system as it moves back over open ocean this outlook could improve slightly.

Thurs 11th Outlook

Chantal loses tropical storm status but still offers very modest surf potential

Westerly wind shear and land interaction further weakened an already struggling TS Chantal over night. However the news isn't actually significantly worse than yesterday for East Coast surfers. While we certainly shouldn't expect a significant swell event the latest model data suggests that the remaining trough will create a modest southerly wind fetch pushing swell towards more southerly facing coasts. Expect, on the latest data, very modest wind swell early next week for more northerly spots in Florida, slightly larger wind affected swell for OBX and even a hint of small summer surf north of this. It's really nothing to get excited about at this stage on these numbers, although the NHC are giving a 20% chance of a reformed Tropical Storm once it hits open ocean again so, as always this time of year, things could change.

Beyond this the GFS model is still showing hints of the tropical wave responsible for the genesis of Atlantic storms but no longer confident in the formation of a storm to follow Chantal. Looks like we're going to have to wait a little longer for the season to kick into gear.

Wed 10th Outlook

TS Chantal is starting to show some signs of weakness and following a less than optimal path for Florida

Chantal is currently 100 miles South of the Dominican Republic as it continues its movement towards Cuba and South Florida. It continues with 40 kt maximum sustained winds but it’s expected to start decreasing its strength as it makes landfall later today.

In the next 48 hours it is expected to see a gradual weakening due to the land interaction. Even with a strength decrease the storm should continue its northwestward movement until reaching Cuba, following a more northerly path from there on and maintaining its current speed.

With this more northerly path the fetch available for Florida has decreased significantly. The outlook shows that the only available window will coincide with Chantal’s passage, which means that local winds may be a problem in most locations. North Carolina is in a better position to make use of the waves generated by Chantal, considering that most energy will come from the SSW. The Northern States of the East Coast are under the shadowing effect of Cape Haterras and no swell from Chantal’s passage is expected to reach those locations.

The current forecast shows no evidence of the possibility of Chantal entering the Gulf. The West Caribbean will also start to receive some waves during next Friday (12th) that are being generated as Chantal progresses in the Caribbean Sea before turning North.

Track the Tropical Storm Chantal Surf Forecast Here

Tues 9th Outlook

TS Chantal looks increasingly likely to move NW through the Caribbean before possibly ploughing into Florida bringing with it short lived swell and wind. Behind that it looks like the season might really be kicking into gear with the tantalisingly named Hurricane Dorian.

Chantal is currently entering the Caribbean Sea and moving towards the Eastern Caribbean later today. After hitting Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic it should take a more NNW path, over the Bahamas before a possible turn back to the Florida coast.

We expect the southern coasts of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic to have a very short swell window because the conditions will be dominated by local wind-seas as the centre of the storm approaches.

The medium range forecast outlook shows that Central Florida should expect two solid days of swell but the swell could peak very close to the forecasted landfall of the storm. Even though we are looking at a fast moving storm the local winds could be a strong limiting factor. We expect that most of the energy will be pointed at Central Florida, following Chantal’s latest forecast path, but South Carolina, Georgia and the Outer banks can still expect to receive some of the dispersed swell. After landfall there is a possibility that Chantal will continue over the Gulf bringing surf to Texas later next week.

Behind Chantal we're keeping our eyes on another potential system that looks even more interesting - a possible Hurricane Dorian? It's way too early to be confident and this one's not even caught the NHC's eye but you can see the start of a new system behind Chantal on the chart below that, in theory at least from the latest GFS, could be a big brother with far more interesting surf potential. We'll keep you updated on this and TS Chantal.

Track the Tropical Storm Chantal Surf Forecast Here

Wave height for the NorthWest Atlantic region for Sunday 14th, where is possible to identify Chantal and the next system moving towards the Caribbean, yet to be officially identified.

Wave height for the NorthWest Atlantic region for Sunday 14th, where is possible to identify Chantal and the next system moving towards the Caribbean, yet to be officially identified.

Francisco Silva

Oceanographer, Ocean Modeller and Surf Forecaster