Tropical Storm Bret strengthens off Bahamas

July 18, 2011 11:32:52 AM PDT
Tropical storm Bret is growing stronger as it swirls in the Atlantic Ocean near the northern Bahamas. Authorities in the Bahamas issued a tropical storm warning early Monday for Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands, meaning tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the next few hours. Tropical Storm Bret isn't expected to approach the U.S.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm's center was about 65 miles (105 kilometers) northwest of Great Abaco Island. Its maximum sustained winds had increased to 50 mph (85 kph) and it was drifting east at 3 mph (6 kph). Bret was expected to begin moving north or northeast Monday and to strengthen over the next day or two.

The storm could produce 2 to 4 inches of rain over the northwest Bahamas.

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