A storm system located off the northern coast of South America was named Tropical Storm Bret in the late afternoon of Monday, June 19. As of 20:00 (local time), Tropical Storm Bret was located fewer than 145 km (90 mi) to the southeast of Trinidad and moving rapidly west-northwest. Projections indicate the storm will pass over Trinidad around 23:00. Little change to the direction and intensity of the storm is expected through the evening of June 20 as it skims the northern coasts of Venezuela and Colombia before weakening into a tropical depression on Wednesday, June 21.
The system is expected to bring torrential rain - with projected accumulations up to 10 cm (4 in) - and strong winds to the above areas. As such, flooding is likely - particularly in coastal, low-lying, and river adjacent areas - along with landslides in hilly areas. Associated transportation disruptions are possible.
Tropical waves, depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes are common in the Caribbean region during the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which runs from June 1 to November 30. However, Tropical Storm Bret developed in an unusual location for the month of June; only two previous tropical storms have developed this far to the east before July.
Individuals in the above areas are advised to follow local weather forecasts and to adhere to any advice issued by the regional authorities (e.g. potential evacuation orders). In the event of flooding, keep in mind that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products.
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