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Tropical Storm Bret may strengthen into a hurricane

Residents are urged to monitor the tropics as Tropical Storm Bret heads for the Antilles

Tropical Storm Bret is set to make its presence known in the eastern Caribbean on Thursday, posing a significant threat to the region with strong winds, heavy rainfall, and the potential for flooding and dangerous surf.

As of 5 a.m. ET Thursday, Bret, boasting sustained winds nearing hurricane force at approximately 70 mph, was situated in the Atlantic Ocean about 200 miles east of Barbados, as reported by the National Hurricane Center.

What to expect from Bret

Tracking at a similar intensity, Bret is expected to traverse parts of the Lesser Antilles island group in the eastern Caribbean on Thursday night. This island group includes Dominica, St. Lucia, Barbados, and the French overseas region of Martinique, as highlighted by the hurricane center. The storm's center is projected to either cross or come dangerously close to St. Lucia or Martinique on Thursday night, according to the latest forecast track released by the hurricane center on Thursday morning.

Tropical storm conditions, consisting of winds of at least 39 mph, are anticipated to begin in certain areas by Thursday afternoon, warns the center. A hurricane watch has been issued for St. Lucia, while tropical storm warnings are in effect for Martinique and Dominica. Additionally, tropical storm watches are in place for Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Over the course of the next few days, Bret is predicted to bring heavy rainfall ranging from 3 to 6 inches across parts of the eastern Caribbean, spanning from Guadeloupe to Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, reveals the hurricane center. Some localized areas may experience as much as 10 inches of rainfall. These torrential downpours have the potential to trigger flash flooding, especially in mountainous regions and urban areas.

In addition to the heavy rainfall, Bret is expected to generate dangerous coastal swells, which could lead to life-threatening surf and rip currents in various parts of the islands on Thursday.

Brets' suggested path

Following its passage through the Lesser Antilles, Bret is forecasted to weaken as it progresses westward into the eastern and central Caribbean Sea, according to the National Hurricane Center. The center anticipates the system to begin weakening by Thursday night or Friday, and it is likely to dissipate over the central Caribbean Sea by Saturday.

As the region braces for the impact of Tropical Storm Bret, residents are urged to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions. Stay tuned to reliable news sources and official updates from weather agencies for the latest developments and adhere to instructions provided by local authorities to ensure personal safety and well-being.

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