Tropical Storm Bret strengthens

Over the past three hours, Tropical Storm Bret has strengthened slightly, with the maximum sustained winds now near 65 miles per hour (100km/h), the current movement westward at 15 miles per hour (24km/h) and the minimum central pressure is 1000mb.

A tropical storm watch remains in effect for Barbados.

A tropical storm watch is issued when sustained winds of 34 to 63 knots (39 to 73 mph; 63 to 118km/h) associated with a tropical storm or hurricane is possible to affect Barbados within 48 hours.

At 5 p.m. Wednesday, the centre of Tropical Storm Bret was located near 13.3N 53.9W or approximately 375 miles (605KM) east of Barbados.

The centre of Bret and its strongest winds are expected to pass approximately 58 miles (93km) to the north of Barbados late Thursday evening. Regardless of this, winds gusting possibly to storm force is likely during this period. Given Bret’s close proximity to the north of the island, a tropical storm watch remains in effect.

Marine conditions are forecast to deteriorate from tonight into early Friday morning. Moderate to rough swells of 2.5m to 3.5m (8ft to 11ft) in open water around Barbados is expected to generate choppy conditions which will particularly affect the island’s eastern and northern coastlines.

As a result, a small craft and high surf advisory are in effect. Mariners are advised not to venture too far from port and secure their vessels immediately.

Outer bands of Tropical Storm Bret will begin to affect the island from Thursday afternoon with showers and gusty winds. Rainfall accumulations of 1 to 3 inches (25 to 75mm) are likely across the island. This may result in flash flooding in low-lying districts. People in these areas should begin to make the relevant preparations to protect property and life.

The next Advisory will be issued at 8 p.m. (PR/SAT)