Tropical storm watches have been issued for multiple Caribbean islands as Tropical Storm Bret continues to march west.
The advisories were issued for Barbados, Dominica, Martinique and St. Lucia. The storm is expected to move across the eastern Caribbean islands late Thursday.
St. Lucia Prime Minister Philip Pierre announced Wednesday schools, government offices and airports on the island would close on Thursday. Martinique also announced school closures for Thursday.
An Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft is expected to fly over Bret on Wednesday.
As of Wednesday morning, the storm had top sustained winds of 60 mph, with higher gusts. The National Hurricane Center expects some increase in strength before Bret reaches the Caribbean. Once it enters the Caribbean, forecasters expect it to be in an unfavorable environment for intensifying.
Once in the forecast cone, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are no longer threatened by a direct hit. The storm could bring some rain and wind to the territories on Thursday.
Bret originated from a low-pressure system that traveled off the coast of Africa. While this type of storm commonly causes tropical systems in August and September, it is considered rare for a Cape Verde system to form into a tropical storm in June.
And Bret might not be the only Cape Verde tropical system this month. The National Hurricane Center said it is monitoring AL93, a tropical system located between the Lesser Antilles and the west coast of Africa. The National Hurricane Center says there is a 70% chance it will turn into a tropical depression by Friday.
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