Chantal closes on Lesser Antilles, Erick off Baja peninsula

July 8, 2013 at 11:22 PM

MIAMI, July 8 (UPI) -- Tropical Storm Chantal sped toward the Lesser Antilles Monday in the Atlantic while Tropical Depression Erick weakened in the Pacific, forecasters said.

Chantal, with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, was about 235 miles east-southeast of Barbados, moving west-northwest at a 26 mph clip, the National Hurricane Center said in its 11 p.m. EDT advisory.

Tropical storm warnings or watches were posted for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Barbados, Dominica, St. Lucia, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Vieques and Culebra.

On its current track and speed, Chantal was expected to reach the Lesser Antilles early Tuesday and move into the eastern Caribbean Sea later in the day, forecasters said.

Chantal was expected to produce 2-4 inches of rain over the Leeward and Windward islands, with up to 6 inches possible, forecasters said.

In the Pacific, Erick, which weakened from a tropical storm to a depression, was 110 miles south of southern Baja California Peninsula in Mexico, the hurricane center said. With maximum sustained winds of 35 mph, the tropical storm was moving northwest at 10 mph at 11 p.m. EDT.

Forecasters said Erick was expected to maintain its northwestward motion for the next day or so, then shift west-northwest on Wednesday.

On its forecast track, Erick's center was expected to pass just south of the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula Monday.

It is forecast to weaken during the next two days.

Erick could produce 1-3 inches of rain in the southern Baja California Peninsula.

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