Tropical Storm Bret Develops in the Atlantic, Potential For Hurricane Status

Tropical Storm Bret emerged in the Atlantic Ocean on Monday and is expected to intensify into a hurricane by Thursday, posing a threat to areas of the Caribbean.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, Bret is expected to “move across the Lesser Antilles as a hurricane on Thursday and Friday, bringing a risk of flooding from heavy rainfall, hurricane-force winds, and dangerous storm surge and waves.”

As of Monday evening, Bret had maximum sustained wind speeds of roughly 40 mph and was forecast to increase. The tropical storm was heading west at 21 mph, on pace to make landfall in the Lesser Antilles later this week.

Tropical Storm Bret Develops in the Atlantic, Potential For Hurricane Status

“Strengthening is forecast, and Bret could become a hurricane in a couple of days,” according to a National Hurricane Center public alert.

The National Hurricane Center said it’s too early to tell where the hazards will hit or how strong Bret will become, citing “larger than usual uncertainty in the track forecast,” but it warned that residents of the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands should “closely monitor updates to the forecast for Bret and have their hurricane plan in place.”

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Scientists note record-warm temperatures in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans as the storm approaches.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimated in May that this year’s hurricane season will have 12 to 17 named storms, which forecasters believe to be “near-normal.” Storms are named when their winds reach 39 miles per hour or greater.

According to NOAA’s assessment, five to nine of the anticipated storms might become hurricanes, with winds of 74 mph or higher, and up to four of them could become “major” hurricanes, with winds of 111 mph or higher.

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