Bret Strengthens with Maximum Sustained Winds of 65 mph


SOURCE: NOAA – At 500 PM AST (2100 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Bret was located near latitude 13.3 North, longitude 53.9 West.

Bret is moving toward the west near 15 mph (24 km/h), and this general motion with an increase in forward speed is expected over the next few days.

On the forecast track, the center of Bret is expected to approach the Lesser Antilles on Thursday, move across the Lesser Antilles late Thursday and Thursday night, and then move westward across the eastern and central Caribbean Sea Friday and Saturday.

Data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 65 mph (100 km/h) with higher gusts.

Little change in strength is forecast during the next day or so while Bret approaches the Lesser Antilles.

Weakening is anticipated to begin Thursday night or Friday after Bret passes the Lesser Antilles, and the system is likely to dissipate over the central Caribbean Sea by Saturday.

Aircraft data indicate that Bret is a little larger in size, and tropical-storm-force winds now extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km) from the center, especially to the north.

NOAA buoy 41040 to the north of Bret recently reported a sustained wind of 43 mph (68 km/h) and a gust to 49 mph (79 km/h).

The minimum central pressure based on dropsonde data is 1000 mb (29.53 inches).


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