Tropical Storm Bret threatens heavy rain in Venezuela

A rare southerly storm is making its way across Trinidad and Tobago and onto South America.

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    Tropical Storm Bret bears down on the island of Trinidad and Tobago [NASA]
    Tropical Storm Bret bears down on the island of Trinidad and Tobago [NASA]

    Tropical Storm Bret, the second named storm of the 2017 hurricane season, has started to show signs of development off the coast of Guyana in South America earlier this week.

    June storms normally tend to develop further north, usually off the Yucatan Peninsula in the Gulf of Mexico or off the southeast US coast.

    This portion of the Atlantic Basin is an unusual place for storms to develop this early in the season.

    Tropical Storm Bret is just one of the few tropical systems that have formed this month in the open Atlantic.

    The system's development is also somewhat rare because it formed further south than most tropical cyclones around the world.

    Early on Monday, Bret started to strengthen and move towards the west-northwest, leading it on a path very close to the island of Trinidad and Tobago.

    The Trinidad and Tobago Guardian reported early Tuesday morning that "gusty winds and torrential showers began pounding the eastern swath of Trinidad last night and there were reports of fallen trees, power lines, roofs torn off and flash flooding as citizens battened down for the full might of Tropical Storm Bret".

    Early on Tuesday, the storm passed just to the south of Trinidad and Tobago, but was still bringing heavy rain and damaging winds to much of the island.

    Later in the day, Bret was expected to skirt the coast of Venezuela with an eventual landfall on the coastal part of Venezuela's Península de Paria National Park, a rural and mostly uninhibited part of the region. 

    Up to 150mm of rain is expected across parts of Venezuela over the next 36 hours. 

    Later on Tuesday and into Wednesday, it will be the islands of Curacao and Aruba that will be threatened by the tropical storm. Once the storm passes, it's expected to begin to weaken and dissipate in the central Caribbean Sea.

    Further to the north, in the Gulf of Mexico, another storm is in the making and could be a significant flood threat to the Gulf Coast of the US by Wednesday evening.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


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