NOAA: Tropical Storm Bret is near hurricane strength and is expected to bring strong winds and heavy rain to portions of the leeward islands later today and tonight.
At 800 AM AST (1200 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Bret was located near latitude 13.6 North, longitude 57.0 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 during the next few days.
On the forecast track, the center of Bret is expected to approach the Lesser Antilles today, move across the Lesser Antilles this evening and tonight, and then move westward across the eastern and central Caribbean Sea Friday and Saturday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph (110 km/h) with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast today while Bret approaches the Lesser Antilles. Weakening is anticipated to begin tonight or Friday after Bret passes the Lesser Antilles, and the system is likely to dissipate over the central Caribbean Sea by Saturday night.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km) from the center, especially to the north.
The minimum central pressure partially based on data from the Air Force Hurricane Hunters is 996 mb (29.42 inches).
SUMMARY OF 800 AM AST…1200 UTC…INFORMATION
ABOUT 170 MI…265 KM E OF BARBADOS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…70 MPH…110 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 280 DEGREES AT 15 MPH…24 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…996 MB…29.42 INCHES