UPDATE 3: Chris Downgraded to Tropical Depression

August 4, 2006

Chris has been downgraded by Miami’s National Hurricane Center to a tropical depression, as the storm’s maximum sustained winds slowed to around 35 mph/55 km/hr with higher gusts. The NHC said “little change in strength is forecast during the next 24 hours. However, any reintensification could bring Chris back to tropical storm status.”

The NHC described the storm as “poorly organized.” It is currently over the Southeast Bahamas. Estimated minimum central pressure is 1012 mb/29.88 inches. However a tropical storm warning is in effect for the Turks and Caicos and for the Southeastern Bahamas. The NHC said “a tropical storm watch or warning will likely be required for portions of the north coast of eastern Cuba later today. Interests elsewhere in Cuba, as well as in southern Florida and the Florida Keys, should monitor the progress of Chris.”

The storm is moving toward the west at around13 mph/21 km/hr, and this general motion is expected to continue for the next 24 hours. “This motion should bring the center of Chris through the Southeastern Bahamas today,” said the bulletin. “Chris is expected to produce total rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches across the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos, the Southeast Bahamas, Haiti and Eastern Cuba, with isolated totals of up to 4 inches over the higher terrain through tonight.”

On its current predicted track Chris would pass well south of the U.S. mainland, and enter the Gulf of Mexico sometime Sunday morning.

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