First anticipated to become a hurricane, Tropical Storm Bret is still expected to remain a powerful tropical storm as it heads to the Caribbean according to The Weather Channel. Moving at 21 mph, with winds up to 40mph, Bret’s estimated landfall when it comes to Puerto Rico is Thursday, June 22.
Once in Puerto Rico, Bret is expected to deliver winds as high as 65 miles per hour once it reaches the Lesser Antilles, just east of Puerto Rico. This area includes countries such as Barbados, St. Lucia, and Martinique.
Estimates say that winds could reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour once Bret heads west toward Cuba and Jamaica. At these speeds, Bret is still considered a tropical storm and threat due to floods, dangerous waves, and storm surges; with the islands currently expecting heavy rain. But experts are worried about this tropical storm transforming into a hurricane because once the winds within the storm hit 74 mph it becomes a category 1 hurricane.
The National Weather Service is also keeping a close eye on the possible development of Tropical Storm Cindy, which is coming up just behind Bret. There’s still a 70% chance that Cindy does become a hurricane even though Bret is expected to weaken by Thursday. In the meantime, the National Weather Service (NWS) is warning that “uncertainty is too high” for a storm that is hitting earlier than expected for this season.
Bret comes six years after Hurricane Irma (Category 5) hit the area and was followed by Hurricane María (Category 5) two weeks later in 2017. The areas hit, including Puerto Rico, caused a humanitarian crisis many still haven’t recovered from. Current residents of the Caribbean can prepare by creating emergency kits, knowing the zone they’re currently residing in on said island to know how they’ll be impacted, and monitoring for live updates via the National Hurricane Center.