Tropical Storm Bret forms in Atlantic, with possible hurricane threat to Caribbean islands

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Tropical Storm Bret formed in the central Atlantic Ocean on Monday, with forecasters saying it could pose a hurricane threat to the eastern Caribbean by Thursday and the Dominican Republic and Haiti by the weekend.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Bret had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph) at 5 p.m. Monday as it moved west across the Atlantic at 21 mph (33 kph). Forecasters expect it to strengthen over the next two days, reaching Category 1 hurricane strength of 74 mph (120 kph) by Wednesday night as it nears the Lesser Antilles. Because of wind shear, the storm is not expected to strengthen into a Category 2 storm.

Bret is forecast to move across the Lesser Antilles as a hurricane on Thursday and Friday and unleash flooding, heavy rainfall and dangerous storm surge and waves, the center said. It is then expected to weaken slowly while still in the eastern Caribbean region.

The National Hurricane Center said there’s a possibility Bret could turn north or continue west into the Caribbean and threaten the Dominican Republic, Haiti and other islands.

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