JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A system the National Hurricane Center had been watching for days was downgraded to Tropical Wave Bret at 5 p.m. Tuesday off of the coastline of Venezuela.
On the forecast track, the tropical storm is expected to move near or over Trinidad and the eastern coast of Venezuela Monday night and early Tuesday. Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours, then it further weakening.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles from the center, mainly north of the center.
The National Hurricane Center issued one last update on the Tropical Wave:
At 500 PM AST, the remnants of Bret were located near
latitude 12.0 North, longitude 67.3 West. The remnants are rapidly
moving toward the west-northwest near 22 mph (35 km/h), and this
motion will continue during the next day or so.
Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts.
These winds are associated with squalls to the north of the center.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km)
to the north of the center.
The estimated minimum central pressure is 1008 mb (29.77 inches).
NHC forecasters are also watching a low-pressure system near Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula that they designated Tropical Storm Cindy Tuesday afternoon.
Early projections show the storm’s track taking it west toward Louisiana and Texas, but a majority of the rain associated with the storm will be on its eastern side, bringing significant rainfall to northern Florida later this week.
National Weather Service meteorologist Mark Wool says now is the time for Floridians to make sure they are ready, in case the storm strengthens.
“We like people to be prepared ahead of time, before the system shows its eyes if you will. We want you to make sure you have your emergency supply kit stocked up with nonperishable foods and enough water for your whole family. We recommend one gallon of water per person, per day," Wool said.
Gov. Rick Scott scheduled a late-afternoon call Monday with Bryan Koon, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, to discuss the tropical outlook, according to Scott's office. Hurricane season started June 1 and ends Nov. 30.
This is the first year advisories are being issued on potential cyclones in the Atlantic. This means the NHC will start issuing the full suite of text, graphic and watch/warning products that previously has only been issued for ongoing tropical cyclones.
Even though a storm is still in the developmental stage, it can threaten land, and forecasters believe that providing updates on “potential tropical cyclones” will protect lives thanks to the advances in forecasting accuracy.