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CHANTAL DETOURS CRUISE SHIP TO ST. CROIX

Aug. 17, 2001 – Rough weather in the lower Eastern Caribbean caused by what had been Tropical Storm Chantal has forced the cruise ship Monarch of the Seas to detour from its regular southern Caribbean itinerary and call at St. Croix on Saturday.
According to Tourism Commissioner Pamela Richards, after the ship left St. Lucia on Friday, the captain decided not to proceed to its next scheduled call, Barbados. Instead, the Royal Caribbean International vessel, carrying about 2,000 passengers and crew, will dock at Frederiksted at 8 a.m. Saturday. The ship, which sails weekly out of San Juan, is scheduled to depart at 4 p.m.
The remnants of Chantal reformed in the Eastern Caribbean Sea on Friday morning, causing the National Hurricane Center to resume issuing advisories on the minimal tropical depression at 11 a.m. But its impact on the Virgin Islands is expected to be minimal.
Hurricane forecaster Lixion Avila said an Air Force reconnaissance aircraft found a small closed circulation system associated with the remians of the tropical storm, which had been downgraded Thursday night to a strong tropical wave.
At 11 a.m. Friday, the poorly defined center of the depression was located near 13.2 degrees north latitude and 65.2 degrees west longitude, about 365 miles south of San Juan. "The depression is continuing to move to the west at near 26 miles per hour with sustained winds at 35 miles per hour," Avila said in an advisory from the National Hurricane Center.
Knight Quality Stations meteorologist Alan Archer said at midday Friday that the latest computer projection models had the system re-intensifying to tropical storm status in the next 24 hours and passing to the south of Hispaniola or Jamaica.
"Chantal is then forecast to move gradually to the northwest, slow down and intensify while over the warm waters of the northwest Caribbean," Archer said. "The storm system will have minimal, if any, effect on weather conditions across the U.S. Virgin Islands."
He estimated a return to normal weather by Saturday with partly sunny skies, high temperatures near 88 and overnight lows in the mid 70s.]

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