Storm Bret gaining strength in the Caribbean

June 21, 2023

Palm trees blowing in a hurricane wind.
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Storm Bret is a tropical storm that hit the Atlantic on Monday. The storm is expected to reach the Lesser Antilles group of islands in the Caribbean Sea by Thursday.

Bret is intensifying as it moves toward the Lesser Antilles. The storm was about 470 miles east of Barbados late Wednesday morning, moving at a pace of 14 mph, with sustained winds of 60 mph (up from 50 mph Tuesday night). Storm watches are in effect for Barbados, Dominica and Martinique. A storm warning has been issued for St. Lucia.

Rainfall of 4 to 5 inches, with a maximum of 10 inches, is possible across portions of the region. Heavy rains and strong winds are expected through Saturday and could cause flash flooding and landslides.

Bret is the second named storm of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season (June 1 to November 30). Storms are named when they reach winds of 49 mph or higher. Storm Bret was initially forecasted to become a hurricane, which happens when a storm’s maximum sustained winds reach 74 mph. While Bret is not expected to strengthen into a hurricane, another storm is likely to form behind it.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently released its outlook for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season. The organization is expecting a near-normal season with 12 to 17 total named storms, five to nine hurricanes and one to four major hurricanes.

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