What was 92L east of the Lesser Antilles has been upgraded to Tropical Storm Bret as of 4 p.m. Monday. The storm, which packs top winds of 40 miles per hour, is just off the coast of Venezuela. Bret was moving at a quick 30 miles per hour to the west, northwest.
A second smaller system racing across the Atlantic is also likely to be a tropical storm when it reaches the Windward Islands and Venezuela Monday night or early Tuesday.
A tropical storm warning is in effect from Cameron, LA, to the mouth of the Pearl River. The system is expected to drop 6 to 9 inches of rain over Southeast Louisiana, Southern Mississippi, Southern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.
Forecasters expect the disturbance in the gulf to become a tropical storm within the next 24 to 36 hours.
As the storm develops it is expected to move northward to northwest into the central Gulf of Mexico.
At the moment, the exact track still has many possibilities, but east of the center could see very heavy rain spread out through the middle of the week.
In NWS terminology, a tropical cyclone refers to a closed, low-level circulation system of clouds and thunderstorms originating over tropical or subtropical water. The tornado risk will expand to the I-10 corridor to the coast for all of southwest and south central Louisiana on Wednesday.
The Houston and Galveston area was also under a tropical storm watch, which means tropical storm conditions were possible.
WeatherBell Analytics LLC forecast 11 to 13 named tropical storms in the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season, according to a May outlook issued by the company.
Two areas of potential development are being watched by the National Hurricane Center. Several models have this storm continuing a northern track towards southeast Louisiana.