Tropical Storm Bret Forms Near Abaco Cays
The second named storm of the 2011 season formed today in waters near Walker's and Grand Cay in the northern Bahamas. The low, which formed along a frontal boundary that exited the US coast, drifted south towards the Bahamas and became more organized as the day progressed, and was declared Tropical Depression Two at 5 p.m. today. After further investigation by a Hurricane Hunter flight, the depression was upgraded to Tropical Storm Bret at 8 p.m.
TROPICAL STORM BRET INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 1A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL022011
800 PM EDT SUN JUL 17 2011
...TROPICAL DEPRESSION STRENGTHENS...BECOMES THE SECOND TROPICAL
STORM OF THE 2011 ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON...
SUMMARY OF 800 PM EDT...0000 UTC...INFORMATION
ABOUT 100 MI...165 KM NW OF GREAT ABACO ISLAND
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...40 MPH...65 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...SSE OR 145 DEGREES AT 2 MPH...4 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1009 MB...29.80 INCHES
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...
A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND AND THE ABACO ISLANDS IN THE NORTHWEST BAHAMAS
Currently TS Bret is drifting very slowly south, and if this motion continues for another 12 hours its centre is likely to cross over or through the northern Abaco Cays overnight. However, Bret seems to be reacting to the effects of diurnal minimum along with some dry air to its northwest, making tropical storm winds less likely in the area during that time frame. Strongest winds have been confined to a small area in the NE quadrant, which also suggests that winds may only gust to tropical storm force over the islands.
Tropical Storm Bret shortly after it was named.
If forecasts pan out, Bret should meander in the general area, then begin to slowly move away towards the northeast sometime during the next 24 hours.
While it seems impacts from Bret will likely be limited to some much needed rain and some beach scouring, this unexpected tropical storm formation so close to our islands should serve as a "heads up" to Bahamians who haven't done their hurricane preparation as yet.