Rain threat eases a bit for South Florida

With much of what remains of Chantal expected to remain offshore, South Florida’s weekend may not be a total washout after all.

Just don’t put away the umbrella yet.

The National Weather Service in Miami still called for a 60 percent chance of storms Saturday and Sunday, including some that could be heavy. In other words, said weather service meteorologist Chris Duke, expect a typical summer weekend — sun in the morning, storms in the afternoon.

But with the tropical storm’s fortunate fizzle, he said, “the expected rainfall amounts have decreased dramatically.” Expect an inch or so in most areas, down from the two to four inches expected a few days ago.

As Chantal’s remnants move north over the northwestern Bahamas, rainfall amounts could increase for the Central Florida coast and the Southeast United States, which is already waterlogged after a week of heavy rain.

The National Hurricane Center also was continuing to monitor Chantal’s remnants, slightly bumping up its chances of re-intensifying over the next few days to 30 percent as a large but disorganized mass of storms flared over Cuba. A Hurricane Hunter plane was scheduled to fly into the system Friday if it continues developing.