Tropical Storm Bret, above, is forecast to dissipate in the Central Caribbean on Wednesday. Potential Tropical Cyclone Three, below, is expected to become Tropical Storm Cindy and impact the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday. (Credit: NHC)
Bret — the second named tropical storm of 2017 — spun up off the northern coast of South America on Monday, the National Hurricane Center said.
Two land areas in the Atlantic Basin were actually under simultaneous tropical storm warnings Monday under a new NHC policy that triggers advisories for systems that haven’t formed. The agency expects Tropical Storm Cindy to roll on to the coast of Louisiana on Wednesday.
Tropical Storm Bret was racing toward the northern coast of Venezuela and the southern Windward Islands at an incredible 30 mph, compounding difficulties in finding a center of circulation for an Air Force plane investigating the system Monday afternoon.
Tropical storm warnings were posted for Trinidad, Tobago, Grenada and parts of Venezuela. Watches were posted for the islands of Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba.
At the same time, tropical storm warnings were in effect for an area on the northern Gulf Coast from Intracoastal City, Louisiana to the mouth of the Pearl River separating Louisiana and Mississippi. Watches were in effect for Intracoastal City west to High Island southwest of Beaumont, Texas.
Bret was finally moving toward the west-northwest and had reached 9.4N 59.8W after spending much of its trans-Atlantic life close to the equator at 5N. Winds were clocked at 40 mph.
Meanwhile, the Gulf of Mexico low pressure area, formerly known as 93L, was upgraded to PTC Three — that’s Potential Tropical Cyclone Three. It was forecast to become Tropical Storm Cindy on Tuesday as it spins northward in the Gulf.
It will be inland over Louisiana by the end of the week, the NHC predicted.
Cindy could make landfall as far west as the northern coast of Texas, forecasters said, with the main impact being heavy rain. The storm was expected to top out with winds of 45 mph.
“Given the disorganized nature of the circulation and the fact that the wind and rain hazards extend well north and east of the center, users are encouraged to not focus on the details of the track forecast,” NHC forecaster Michael Brennan said in a 5 p.m. advisory.
At 6 p.m., PTC Three looked on satellite to be a disorganized trough of low pressure, with the heaviest convection stretching all the way from the southeastern Gulf, west of Key West, all the way down to Belize.
Officially, the center of circulation was plotted at 24.7N 88.7W. It was moving north at 9 mph and top winds were estimated to be 40 mph.