MIAMI, Fla. - The National Hurricane Center in Miami says the third tropical storm of the 2013 North Atlantic Hurricane season formed on Sunday night.
As of the 5:00 a.m. advisory, Chantal is currently located 705 miles east-southeast of the island of Barbados moving. It is moving west at 26 miles per hour.
Maximum sustained winds are at 40 miles per hour with some stronger gusts. Tropical storm force winds extend up to 60 miles from the center of the storm.
Forecasters say Chantal could strengthen in the next 48 hours.
A tropical storm warning is in effects for the islands of Barbados, Dominica, Saint Lucia, Martinique and Guadeloupe in the Lesser Antilles. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Saint Vincent. Additional watches and warnings may be issues for other areas of the Lesser Antilles on Monday.
Forecasters expect Chantal to continue to move quickly towards the Lesser Antilles and reach the island chain on Monday or early Tuesday before moving into the eastern Caribbean Sea later on Tuesday.
Chantal is expected to produce rain accumulations between 2 and 4 inches over the Leeward and Windward Islands.
The current forecast has Chantal turning northwest on Wednesday and impacting Cuba before heading over the Bahamas as a tropical depression.
People living in Florida should continue to keep an eye on the storm because the state is included in the National Hurricane Center's storm track cone of probability.