Earlier in the week we reported that a storm system barreling toward Florida was likely to form into a named Tropical Storm. As of early yesterday afternoon, Tropical Storm Bret was born over the Atlantic Ocean and he’s not slowing down any time soon. The most recent update from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) does not bode well.
The storm is expected to make landfall in the Caribbean Thursday when it does, it’s likely to do so as Hurricane Bret. The storm is expected to strengthen into a Hurricane over the next 24 hours. According to the NHC, “[Bret is] expected to move across the Lesser Antilles as a hurricane on Thursday and Friday, bringing a risk of flooding from heavy rainfall, hurricane-force winds, and dangerous storm surge and waves.”
Tropical Storm Bret is currently heading west at 15 mph with 40 mph sustained winds. The eastern Caribbean including, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Antigua, Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, and Martinique are expected to be immediately affected. The National Hurricane Center has advised residents of those Islands to begin making Hurricane preparations and have an evacuation route planned.
Currently a zone of high pressure is blocking the storm from turning north but that could change if the storm straightens to a hurricane quickly. Rapid storm growth means a taller storm. Think of it like a kite catching the wind or a knife slicing through butter. That’s what happens when a storm grows. No longer blocked by high pressure, it can cut its way through and be blown off kilter. This is what makes storm tracking so unpredictable. We should know more about the storm’s actual path by the end of the week.
In their update the NHC said, “There is considerable uncertainty in how much of a right turn [toward Florida] could occur because it is somewhat tied to the intensity of the cyclone,” the forecast said. “A stronger system would tend to move more to the right due to the upper-level flow, while a weaker system would continue more westward into the Caribbean.”
In our last update, we said we’d keep you updated if travel plans need to be changed. In our opinion Walt Disney World travel remains unaffected by the storm but Disney Cruise Line guests may want to reconsider. If the sailings aren’t canceled, the storm is likely to make some Caribbean stops impossible leading to a less than ideal cruise. We will continue to monitor the storm and bring you any relevant updates.