Tropical Storm Chantal forms in Atlantic, eyes path to Florida

Computer models show weather system first passing over Cuba

ORLANDO, Fla. - Tropical Storm Chantal is racing toward the Lesser Antilles after forming in the Atlantic, and computer models show the storm nearing Florida later in the week.

As of Monday afternoon, Chantal was centered about 550 miles east-southeast of Barbados and was moving west near 25 mph.

The storm's maximum sustained winds were near 45 mph with some strengthening expected over the next two days.

"It's on a path to pass over Cuba later this week and then the Bahamas by the weekend," Local 6 meteorologist Troy Bridges said.  "Some models then show it skirting along Florida's east coast."

A tropical storm warning has been issued for Puerto Rico, Barbados, Dominica, St. Lucia, Martinique and Guadeloupe. A tropical storm watch is in effect for St. Vincent.  

Chantal is expected to produce 2 to 4 inches of rain over the Leeward and Windward Islands with a maximum amount of rain expected at 6 inches.

Meanwhile, there's a 20 percent chance of rain in Central Florida on Monday and Tuesday.

High temperatures will be in the low 90s, and overnight lows will be in the mid-70s.

Rain chances increase to 40 percent from Wednesday through Sunday.

In the Pacific, Tropical Storm Erick is nearing the southern portion of Mexico's Baja California peninsula, where a tropical storm warning is in effect.

Erick's maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 50 mph with gradual weakening expected to continue over the next two days.

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