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Tropical Storm “Bret” approaching hurricane strength on its way toward the Lesser Antilles

tropical storm bret 1410z june 22 2023 f

Tropical Storm “Bret” is approaching hurricane strength on its way toward the Lesser Antilles. The current forecast track takes it over those islands this evening and tonight (LT) as a strong tropical storm.

  • A Hurricane Watch and a Tropical Storm Warning are in effect for St. Lucia, and a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Martinique and Dominica. There is a risk of flooding from heavy rainfall, strong winds, and dangerous waves along the coast within the warning area.
  • A Tropical Storm Watch remains in effect for Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
  • Additional watches or warnings are possible for some islands in the Lesser Antilles later today.

At 12:00 UTC today, Bret’s center was located about 265 km (170 miles) east of Barbados. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 110 km/h (70 mph) and minimum central pressure of 996 hPa. It was moving W at 24 km/h (15 mph).

A Hurricane Watch has been issued for St. Lucia, indicating the potential for hurricane conditions within the next 24 hours. Similarly, a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Dominica, St. Lucia, and Martinique, implying tropical storm conditions are expected within the same timeframe. Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have been issued a Tropical Storm Watch, suggesting potential tropical storm conditions within 24 hours.

Residents and interests in the Lesser Antilles are urged to monitor the progress of Bret, as additional watches or warnings may be issued later today.

According to the forecast, Bret’s center is expected to approach the Lesser Antilles today, move across them this evening and tonight, and then traverse westward across the eastern and central Caribbean Sea on Friday and Saturday, June 23 and 24.

Tropical Storm “Bret” at 14:10 UTC on June 22, 2023. Credit: NOAA/GOES-East, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers
tropical storm bret nhc forecast track 12z june 22 2023

The storm’s tropical-force winds extend up to 185 km (115 miles) from the center, particularly to the north. The storm’s strength is predicted to remain constant today as Bret approaches the Lesser Antilles. However, weakening is expected to commence tonight or Friday after Bret passes the Lesser Antilles, and the system is likely to dissipate over the central Caribbean Sea by Saturday night.

Bret is also anticipated to cause significant rainfall, with storm total rainfall amounts of 76 to 152 mm (3 to 6 inches) and maximum amounts of 254 mm (10 inches) possible across portions of the Lesser Antilles, ranging from Guadeloupe south to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, including Barbados. The heavy rainfall may lead to flash flooding, especially across areas of higher terrain, as well as possible urban flooding.

Finally, swells generated by Bret are beginning to affect portions of the Lesser Antilles, likely causing life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

References:

1 Tropical Storm Bret – Advisory Number 13 NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL032023 – 1100 AM AST Thu Jun 22 2023

Featured image credit: Tropical Storm “Bret” at 14:10 UTC on June 22, 2023. Credit: NOAA/GOES-East, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers

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