Tropical Storm Bret (RECAP)

June 20, 2017

Tropical Storm Bret was a short-lived, but historic tropical storm that caused damage in the southern Caribbean Sea. 

(MORE: Hurricane Season OutlookHurricane Central)

A robust tropical wave crossed the southern Atlantic from the African coast to near South America during the second week in June. As the wave approached the southernmost Windward Islands, the wave gained enough organization to be called a Tropical Storm. 

Track history for Tropical Storm Bret in June, 2017.

There were reports of damaged roofs on the islands of Trinidad, Tobago and Grenada on June 19 and some flooding occurred in southern Trinidad. Tropical storm conditions did not last long on these islands, but the flooding stuck around.

Flooding was reported across Trinidad well after Bret moved westward into the southern Caribbean Sea. 

Bret attained maximum sustained winds of 45 mph after passing over Trinidad on June 20 before weakening. 

As Bret moved westward into the southern Caribbean Sea, atmospheric conditions became unfavorable for thunderstorm activity near the tropical storm. Strong winds aloft pushed cloud tops north and eastward away from Bret's core. 

Just a day after the formation of a well-defined center, Bret was unable to support robust thunderstorms and the system opened up into a tropical wave. 

Historical Tidbits

Bret formed in a portion of the Atlantic Basin that is an unusual spot for tropical development for June, and at a very low latitude for any time of the season.

Bret was an outlier that is only joined by a few tropical systems that have formed in June in the open Atlantic. Tropical development in the open Atlantic only happens about once per decade in June. 

Each red dot shows the origin point of a storm in the Atlantic during June since 1950. Notice that Bret is far removed from the typical northwest Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico breeding ground.

Typically in June, tropical systems form in the western Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico where conditions are more suitable for tropical development. 

(MORE: Strange Atlantic Tropics in 2017: Early Start and an Unusual Location for Formation)

Bret was also historical in that it was the first system to garner tropical storm warnings before becoming a tropical cyclone. The National Hurricane Center was given the ability to declare some tropical systems 'potential tropical cyclones' when they are forecast to bring tropical storm conditions to land. 

Tropical storm watches and warnings were issued for parts of the Windward Islands, northern Venezuela and for Trinidad and Tobago before Bret became a tropical storm. 

A cyclone is a general name for any low-pressure system in the world. 

MORE: Life and Landfall of Hurricane Hermine: Africa to North Atlantic

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.