- Tropical Storm Bret vacationing in the Bahamas on July 18, 2011. (NOAA/GOES-East)
Twin tropical storms are making a weather sandwich of North America, with Dora whipping up waves south of Guatemala and Bret playing in the surf off the Bahamas. The crew aboard a Hurricane Hunter airplane dispatched from the U.S. recently noted increasing winds within Bret's tumultuous center, and it is possible the storm could balloon into a hurricane early on Tuesday. The expected track of Bret steers it away from the East Coast this week.
Bret began its life Sunday as Tropical Depression 2, a moist dimple in the air over the northern Bahamas' Abaco Islands, but quickly raged up into storm strength by the time folks in D.C. were grabbing their morning coffee yesterday. Thanks to the unblinking eye of NOAA's GOES-13 satellite, you can see this all unfolding in the below time-lapse video recorded from July 16 to July 18. Just look at that atmosphere bubble.
Bret is only the second tropical storm to form in the Atlantic in a hurricane season that runs until the end of November. As mentioned before, NOAA is calling for a very busy Atlantic season with 12 to 18 named storms predicted to become 6 to 10 hurricanes. (The yearly average is 11 named storms and six hurricanes.)