Bret, second tropical storm of season, aims for Trinidad; Cindy brewing

Hurricane Forecast
Hurricane hunter aircraft; aerial reconnaissance affirms Bret a tropical storm.

On average the Atlantic Basin doesn’t experience three named tropical storms, those with winds of at least 39 mph, until July 5.

But it looks like this one is going to be about 15 days ahead of schedule.

Late Monday aerial reconnaissance determined that a disturbance near the Venezuelan coast merited a name, Bret.

About 125 miles east of Trinidad at 4 p.m., Bret had peak winds of 40 mph, one better than the minimum requirement for a name.

Tropical storm warnings were in effect for Trinidad, Tobago, and parts of Venezuela.

Meanwhile, the hurricane center says that what it calls “Potential Tropical Storm Three” is highly likely to earn the name Cindy any day now.

Although “Cindy” officially doesn’t yet exist, tropical storm warnings are in effect from Intracoastal City, La., to the mouth of the Pearl River.

That particular pre-emptive advisory is new this season; In years past, the hurricane center didn’t issue such warnings until a storm had earned a name.

With 40 mph winds, the disturbance meets the wind threshold for a name and is capable of producing tropical-storm conditions.

But as Dennis Feltgen, a meteorologist who is the hurricane center spokesman notes, winds, alone don’t make a tropical cyclone.

“It must have a closed low-level center of circulation and organized bands of convection around it,” he said. “Potential Tropical Cyclone Three does not have that at this time, so it is not a tropical cyclone and does not get a name yet.”