Tropical Storm Chantal (2001)

Tropical Storm Chantal
Tropical storm (SSHWS/NWS)
Tropical Storm Chantal aug 21 2001 1645Z.jpg
Tropical Storm Chantal over the Yucatán Peninsula
FormedAugust 14, 2001
DissipatedAugust 22, 2001.
Highest winds1-minute sustained: 70 mph (110 km/h)
Lowest pressure997 mbar (hPa); 29.44 inHg
Fatalities0 direct, 2 indirect
Damage$4 million (2001 USD)
Areas affectedWindward Islands, Jamaica, Belize, Mexico
Part of the 2001 Atlantic hurricane season

Tropical Storm Chantal was an Atlantic tropical cyclone that moved across the Caribbean Sea in August 2001. Chantal developed from a tropical wave on August 14 in the tropical Atlantic Ocean. It tracked rapidly westward for much of its duration, and after degenerating into a tropical wave it passed through the Windward Islands. Chantal reached a peak intensity of 70 miles per hour (110 km/h) twice in the Caribbean Sea, and each time it was anticipated to attain hurricane status; however, wind shear and later land interaction prevented strengthening to hurricane status. On August 21 Chantal moved ashore near the border of Mexico and Belize, and the next day it dissipated.

In the Windward Islands, lightning caused two indirect deaths in Trinidad. Chantal dropped light to moderate rainfall across its path, most significantly in Quintana Roo in Mexico where it caused widespread mudslides. Damage in Belize totaled $4 million (2001 USD, $4.8 million 2008 USD), due to the combined impact of high waves, moderate winds, and rainfall. Overall damage was minor.



Tropical Storm Chantal making landfall on August 20

The National Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm watch for Barbados, St. Vincent, and Saint Lucia on August 15. The following day the watches were changed to warnings, since forecasters predicted that the system would reach tropical storm status. Additional watches and warnings were also issued for the rest of Windward Islands.[1]

Late on August 17, the government of Jamaica issued a hurricane watch for the island, due to anticipated strengthening. The next day, it was upgraded to a hurricane warning briefly before being amended to a tropical storm warning, due to the storm's weakening in the central Caribbean.[1] In the country, officials advised fishermen to return to harbor,[2] while some flights into Norman Manley International Airport were canceled.[3] A tropical storm warning was also issued for the Cayman Islands,[1] where an emergency shelter was opened.[4] There, tourists were recommended to temporarily leave the islands.[2]

About 50 hours before landfall, a tropical storm watch was issued for Belize and the eastern Yucatán Peninsula, and about 12 hours later it was upgraded to a hurricane watch. When the lack of significant intensification became apparent, a tropical storm warning was added for much of the Yucatán Peninsula and later for a portion of the Mexican coast along the Bay of Campeche. As the storm approached, nearly 2,500 people in vulnerable areas of eastern Mexico evacuated to safer areas. About 8,000 people evacuated in Belize, primarily on offshore islands.[1] The government of Belize opened its emergency operation center and evacuated several hospitals.[5] About 250 airline flights were canceled, and some cruise ship paths were diverted to safer locations.[6]


Mexico rainfall from Chantal

As a strong tropical wave, Chantal passed through the Windward Islands. The island of Martinique reported sustained winds of 39 miles per hour (63 km/h) with gusts to 56 miles per hour (91 km/h).[1] On August 16, lightning from the system killed two brothers in southern Trinidad.[3] Also on the island, heavy rainfall caused flooding and road washouts.[7]

While tracking across the eastern Caribbean Sea, the outer rainbands of Chantal produced light to moderate rainfall across Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands. In Puerto Rico, the highest rainfall total was 2.4 inches (61 mm) in Rio Piedras.[8] Passing to the south of Jamaica, the storm produced light rainfall and gusty winds.[9] The outer rainbands also affected the Cayman Islands.[10]

In Belize, the tropical storm produced a wind gust of 71 miles per hour (115 km/h) in Caye Caulker, although stronger winds were possible in a convective band to the north. Moderate rainfall was reported across the country, peaking at 9.81 inches (249 mm) at Towerhill station. Along the coast, high waves damaged seawalls and piers. Further inland, the combination of winds and flooding caused agriculture and infrastructure damage; overall damage in the country totaled $4 million (2001 USD), $4.87 million 2008 USD).[1]

Tropical Storm Chantal also produced gusty winds in the Yucatán Peninsula, peaking at 62 miles per hour (100 km/h) in Chetumal, Quintana Roo.[1] Dropping moderate to heavy rainfall along its path, a station near Chetumal reported a peak total of 20.03 inches (509 mm). The remnants of Chantal also produced rainfall along the Bay of Campeche coast.[8] The storm resulted in downed trees and power lines, as well as damaged buildings.[1][11] Heavy rainfall led to mudslides across Quintana Roo, leaving some areas isolated.[12] Initially, there were reports of two missing fishermen off the southeastern coast,[13] although it was not later confirmed. Overall damage was minor.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Cite error: The named reference tcr was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ a b "Chantal pulls together, heads toward Yucatan". Saint Petersburg Times. 2001-08-19. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  3. ^ a b "Jamaica in path of lethal storm". Associated Press. 2001-08-20. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  4. ^ "Chantal Passes, Little Rain and Lightning but no Storm". Cayman Net News. 2001-08-21. Retrieved 2008-06-23.
  5. ^ United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (2001-08-21). "Caribbean — Tropical Storm Chantal OCHA Situation Report No. 4" Check |url= value (help). ReliefWeb. Retrieved 2008-05-08.
  6. ^ Merzer, Martin. "Chantal buffets, drenches Yucatan". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 2006-07-26.
  7. ^ Potter, Angela (2001-08-17). "Two lightning deaths in Trinidad; Chantal regains force over Caribbean". Associated Press. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  8. ^ a b Roth, David (2007-01-20). "Tropical Storm Chantal Rainfall Summary". Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. Retrieved 2008-05-08.
  9. ^ Brown, Jill (2001-08-19). "Transcript: Wildfires Burn Across the West; Tropical Storm Chantal Rages in the Caribbean". CNN. Retrieved 2008-06-23.
  10. ^ West, James (2001-08-31). "Chantal defied forecasts, hit Mexico with windy rain". Retrieved 2008-06-23.
  11. ^ "World; In Brief". The Washington Post. 2001-08-21. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  12. ^ "Rain or Shine...". The London Independent. 2001-08-25. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  13. ^ "Tropical Storm Chantal Hits Mexico; Weather: Two fishermen are missing off country's southeastern coast. Heaviest rains and strongest winds are expected to arrive later". Los Angeles Times. 2001-08-21. Retrieved 2008-05-08.