MIAMI -

Chantal degenerated into a tropical wave Wednesday evening but could still produce heavy rains and gusty winds.

At 5 p.m., Chantal was about 230 miles east-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. It was moving west at 23 mph.

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Forecasters expected Chantal to spread over Jamaica and eastern Cuba late Wednesday and overnight Thursday. It would be over or near the Florida peninsula by Friday.

Tropical storm force winds could still affect Haiti and eastern Cuba. Up to 6 inches of rain was possible in some southern areas of Hispaniola.

LINK: Hurricane Headquarters

Twenty-one flights going to and coming from the Caribbean were cancelled Wednesday at Miami International Airport because of Chantal.