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  • Writer's pictureBryan Norcross

Two named storms in the tropical Atlantic in June for the first time on record

The center of Tropical Storm Bret is in the Caribbean, though the band of heavy cells on its back side are still impacting the islands. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Cindy, about 1100 miles behind Bret, is getting better organized and is forecast to intensify.

Last evening, the center of Tropical Storm Bret passed over or very near the east-central Caribbean island of St. Vincent. Winds gusted to 69 mph on Saint Lucia, the island just to the north. Wind gusts near hurricane strength are continuing this morning over the central and southern half of the eastern Caribbean island chain.

Bret is now tracking over the eastern Caribbean Sea, where it will die over the weekend. The weather over the islands will continue to be dangerous today as bands in the back half of Bret move through.

The upper-level winds will become increasingly hostile over the storm, and dry air was already limiting Bret’s development before it reached the islands. That combination is forecast to disrupt the storm’s circulation over the weekend, dissipating the system.

Next in line is Tropical Storm Cindy. It’s showing signs of continued organization and is forecast to intensify into a healthy tropical storm today and tomorrow.

The steering pattern for Cindy is different than for Bret, however. The storm is forecast to turn north before it reaches the Caribbean islands. Over the weekend, the same hostile upper-level environment that will impact Bret should take out Cindy as well.

Some computer forecast models give the system a chance to regenerate and possibly pass in general vicinity of Bermuda late next week. But that’s only speculation at this point.

This is the first time in the record book, which reliably goes back to the 1960s when satellites first gave us a more-or-less continuous view of the tropical Atlantic, that two named storms have developed in the tropical Atlantic in June. And this is only the fifth time on record that even one storm developed in that part of the ocean this early in the season.

The entire Atlantic Ocean is dramatically warmer than it’s been in at least the last 40 years. It’s unclear why that is happening and equally unclear what it means for hurricane season. The Pacific phenomenon El Niño is still expected to limit tropical activity to some degree. But it’s impossible to know exactly how the unprecedented heatwave in the Atlantic and the El Niño effect will interact.


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