Caribbean holiday destinations braced for Tropical Storm Bret

Popular holiday destinations in the Caribbean are bracing themselves for the arrival of Tropical Storm Bret as it makes its way across the Atlantic Ocean. 

The storm, which has reached maximum sustained winds of 45mph according to the National Hurricane Centre in Miami, is expected to hit eastern Caribbean islands at near hurricane strength on Thursday (June 22).  A tropical storm watch has been issued for Barbados, St Lucia and Dominica, where the meteorological service said on Tuesday the storm poses a “high threat” to the island and warned of landslides, flooding and waves of up to 12 feet.

“Landslides are highly likely as we are coming out of a relatively dry period where grounds may be compromised or developed cracks,” said Fitzroy Pascal from Dominica’s Office of Disaster Management.  The hurricane centre said it is too early to specify where the storm would hit but urged people in the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands to monitor the storm and have their hurricane plans in place.

Read more: Heroes fight waves to rescue three people trapped in capsized houseboat

The government of Guadeloupe, where up to 25cm of rain is forecast, warned inclement weather would start on Wednesday evening and continue until late on Friday, with waves of up to 10 feet (three metres).  Unfavourable winds and drier air are expected to weaken Bret as it swirls through the central Caribbean region as part of an early and aggressive start to the Atlantic hurricane season that began on June 1.

A tropical disturbance with an 80% chance of cyclone formation is trailing Bret.

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No June on record has had two storms form in the tropical Atlantic, according to meteorologist Philip Klotzbach at Colorado State University. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has forecast 12 to 17 named storms for this year’s hurricane season.

It said between five and nine of those storms could become hurricanes, including up to four major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher.

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