- By Madeline Halpert
- BBC News, New York
Tropical Storm Bret continues its march towards the Caribbean, which could bring severe urban flooding and high winds by Thursday.
But the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) says Bret may not be as resilient as previously suggested.
As of Thursday evening, the storm was about 780 miles (1,255 kilometers) from the Windward Islands archipelago, officials said, adding that it was unlikely to hit the United States.
Tropical storm watches have been issued for Barbados, Saint Lucia and Dominica.
The warnings mean that a tropical storm is expected in the area within the next 48 hours.
A tropical storm becomes a hurricane once its maximum sustained winds reach 74 mph. It currently has sustained winds of up to 45 mph (75 kph), according to the Miami-based NHC.
NHC said, “Precipitation from 4 (10 cm) to 6 inches is possible with maximum amounts of 10 inches in parts of the Lesser Antilles, from Guadeloupe south to Saint Lucia.
Precipitation amounts of 2 to 4 inches are possible in Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. »
The NHC publication added that so far it has not been able to achieve “better management of system density and volume”.
Residents of the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands were also warned to prepare for stormy conditions by Thursday evening.
Forecasters say it’s too early to say exactly where the storm will hit and what damage it could cause. Officials say they are worried about flooding caused by rapid rains. High hills and urban areas are most at risk.
The storm is expected to weaken after moving into the Caribbean Friday into the weekend, according to the latest forecast.
Brett is a rare type of storm at the start of the hurricane season, which begins in June and lasts through November. Colorado State University meteorologist Philip Klotzbach wrote Twitter This storm set a record as the eastern tropical storm that formed in the tropical Atlantic Ocean in June.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has forecast a “near-normal” hurricane season in the Atlantic this year, with 12 to 17 storms expected. Bret is the third tropical storm this year, according to the NHC.
The impact of climate change on storm frequency remains uncertain, but higher sea surface temperatures are known to warm the air above and provide more energy to cause hurricanes and hurricanes. As a result, it is likely to be more intense with heavy rain.