HAVANA TIMES — Tropical Storm Chantal made a surprise turn west this morning and will most likely avoid touching land in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Weakened to 45 mph winds, the storm is now projected by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) to pass close to Jamaica and then, on Thursday, cross Cuba practically in the middle also affecting portions of some of the eastern provinces.
Chantal may further lose intensity and become downgraded to a tropical depression before reaching Cuba, reports the NHC.
The Cuban Weather Service (INSMET) has advised the civil defense authorities to pay close attention to the development and future path of Chantal due its associated rains and tropical force winds which could begin being felt in the early morning hours of Thursday, mainly in Guantánamo, Santiago de Cuba and Granma.
At 12 noon (EST) INSMET localized the center of Chantal at around 400 miles east-southeast of Cabo Cruz, Granma.