Tropical Storm Bret strengthened as it closed on the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean, the US National Hurricane Center said. Bret’s top wind have reached 60 miles per hour and tropical storm watches and warnings have been posted on Barbados, Dominica, Martinique, and St. Lucia, where the storm could strike Thursday.
As of 5 a.m. ET, Bret was about 645 miles east of the islands moving west at 16 mph. The hurricane center said its top winds could reach 65 mph.
“Some additional strengthening is possible during the next day or so, but when the cyclone moves into the eastern Caribbean Sea, the atmospheric environment is expected to become increasingly unfavorable for intensification,” Richard Pasch, a senior hurricane specialist at the center, wrote in his analysis. Bret should degenerate into a cluster of thunderstorms early next week, he said.
Meanwhile, behind Bret is a second system several hundred miles west of Cabo Verde that has an 80% chance of becoming a storm in the next week.
In other weather news:
Smoke: Smoke from Canadian wildfires continues to spread across parts of North America. Moderate smoke conditions have now drifted south to Texas. A large part of the Midwest and Ohio Valley still remain in the moderate category, and the same goes for Toronto. Air quality alerts are up in Chicago, northern Indiana, and around Detroit and other parts of Michigan, as well as most of Minnesota.
US: Excessive heat warnings cover most of Texas, including Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio. The highs in Houston and Dallas should reach 99F and 97F, respectively. Both cities will have a heat index of 110F. San Antonio could reach 104F with a heat index of 116F.
Europe: The sizzling temperatures covering most of northwest Europe is set to peak in the coming days as the extreme heat moves toward the eastern Mediterranean, according to forecaster Maxar.
India: India has so far received 66.9 millimeters of rains during the current monsoon season, which runs from June through September, compared with a normal of 99.2 millimeters, according to data published by the India Meteorological Department on June 21.
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Brian K Sullivan in Boston at email@example.com