Tropical Storm Bret Threatens Aruba and the Caribbean Region

As of June 22, 2023, Tropical Storm Bret, the second named storm of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, is moving westward through the Atlantic Ocean, posing a potential threat to the eastern Caribbean, including the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and potentially Aruba​.

Originating in the central Atlantic Ocean, Bret had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph) as of June 20. It was initially expected to strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane with winds reaching 74 mph (120 kph) by June 21 as it neared the Lesser Antilles. However, later forecasts revised this expectation, predicting that Bret would remain a tropical storm​.

As of the morning of June 22, Bret was located about 200 miles east of Barbados and was moving west at 15 mph. At this time, it had maximum sustained winds of 70 mph, just shy of Category 1 hurricane strength. Tropical storm force winds were extending outward up to 105 miles from its center.

The storm’s path has it moving across the Lesser Antilles on Thursday, June 22, and Friday, June 23, with the possibility of causing flooding, heavy rainfall, and dangerous storm surge and waves. After passing the Lesser Antilles, it’s expected to move across the eastern Caribbean Sea on Friday​.

However, there is considerable uncertainty about the exact path Bret will take. While it’s predicted to weaken as it moves across the eastern Caribbean, there is a chance it could turn north or continue west into the Caribbean, potentially threatening the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and other islands. This uncertainty extends to how it may affect Aruba, with the National Hurricane Center advising everyone in the Caribbean region, including Aruba, to monitor updates to the forecast closely​.

As Bret moves closer, the Caribbean is preparing for potential impacts. A hurricane watch has been issued for St. Lucia, and airports, businesses, schools, and offices are closing in anticipation of torrential downpours, landslides, and flooding.

In addition to Bret, the National Hurricane Center is also monitoring a tropical depression trailing the storm, which has a 90 percent chance of formation. This situation is notable because it is relatively early in the season for the formation of a second named storm, which usually doesn’t occur until mid-July, and the first hurricane of the season typically doesn’t form until August​.

For now, residents of Aruba and other potentially affected regions are advised to have their hurricane plans in place and to monitor updates to Bret’s forecast closely​.

Aruba Tourist Channel