TROPICAL STORM CHANTAL ISSUED: 5:15 P.M. - FRIDAY - 8/17/01    

THIS WILL BE A SHORT UPDATE SINCE I REALLY HAVE NOTHING TO ADD TO WHAT IíVE BEEN SAYING LAST TWO DAYS.

TPC HAS BROUGHT CHANTAL BACK TO TS STATUS IN THE 5PM ADVISORY.  I BELIEVE INITIAL WIND ESTIMATE IS LOW BASED ON SATELLITE PRESENTATION.  IíM SURE THEY ARE BEING CONSERVATIVE UNTIL RECON GETS IN THERE ABOUT 8:00 TONIGHT.

CHANTAL CONTINUES TO IMRPOVE AND CONSOLIDATE.  BASED ON LAST FEW VISIBLE IMAGES A CDO MAY BE TRYING TO FORM.

CONVECTION HAS PLUSED DOWN LAST HOUR OR SO BUT WOULD EXPECT THAT TO MAKE A COMEBACK DURING THE EVENING/OVERNIGHT.

TRACK:  NO CHANGE TO THINKING FROM 24 HOURS AGO.  CHANTAL IS TAKING AIM ON THE GULF OF MEXICO AND THE ONLY QUESTION IS WHERE EXACTLY DOES SHE ENTER AND DOES SHE TANGLE WITH LAND AS SHE DOES SO.

I BELIEVE THE CENTER OF CHANTAL COULD COME WITHIN 50 MILES OF THE SOUTH COAST OF JAMAICA SATURDAY NIGHT/PRE-DAWN SUNDAY.  FROM THERE WOULD EXPECT A  WNW TRACK THROUGH THE YUCATAN CHANNEL...PERHAPS CLOSE TO THE TIP OF THE YUCATAN.

LONGER RANGE: STILL BELIEVE A TURN MORE NW/NNW IS LIKELY AND RESIDENTS ALONG THE CENTRAL/EASTERN GULF COAST SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF CHANTAL NEXT SEVERAL DAYS.

BELIEVE THE TRACK ON LATEST SET OF NCEP MANUAL PROGS OF CHANTAL CROSSING THE YUCATAN AND ENTERING THE BAY OF CAMPECHE THEN MOVING INTO OLD MEXICO IS OUT TO LUNCH.  IF I HAVE TO EAT MY WORDS FOR LUNCH 5 DAYS FROM NOW..SO BE IT.

INTENSITY:  TO SAY THE LEAST CHANTAL HAS POTENTIAL TO REACH CAT 3 STATUS.  BELIEVE TPC 72HR INTENSITY IS NOT INTENSE ENOUGH.  WOULD NOT BE SURPRISED TO SEE A 100KT+ HURRICANE MOVE INTO THE S.E. GULF OF MEXICO BY AROUND 72-84 HOURS.

THIS OF ASSUMES SHE MOVES RATHER CLEANLY THROUGH THE YUCATAN CHANNEL.

NCEP AVN IS FURTHER NORTH THAN OTHER GLOBAL GUIDANCE AND MY OFFICIAL TRACK WOULD BE JUST SLIGHTLY SOUTH OF AVN GUIDANCE AND SLIGHTLY NORTH OF TPC TRACK.  TPC TROPICAL MODEL SUITE HAS ALSO GRADUALLY BEEN SHIFTING NORTH.

I WILL BE UNAVAIL FOR NEXT 24 HOURS AND WOULD EXPECT NEXT UPDATE AROUND 9:00-10:00 SATURDAY NIGHT.