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A compact storm racing across the Atlantic became Tropical Storm Bret Monday afternoon.
A hurricane hunter plane sent to investigate the storm located 125 miles southeast of Trinidad at 5 p.m. founds sustained winds of 40 mph. Bret was moving at a quick 30 mph to the west, northwest. The storm is expected to slow as it moves near or over Trinidad and the eastern coast of Venezuela tonight and early Tuesday, forecasters said.
Tropical storm force winds extend 80 miles from the center, largely on the storm’s north side, forecasters said.
The Florida Panhandle may also feel impacts from a second, larger storm churning across the Gulf of Mexico.
The storm, located about 300 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River had sustained winds of about 40 mph and has slowed significantly to 9 mph.
Forecasters issued a tropical storm warning from the Pearl River on the Mississippi, Louisiana border to Intracoastal City, west of New Orleans. A tropical storm watch is in effect from west of Intracoastal City to High Island, Texas.
The system is expected to produce heavy rainfall, with up to 10 inches possible in parts of the Panhandle.