Tropical Storm Bret has formed in the Atlantic Ocean southeast of the Lesser Antilles, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Bret is the third tropical storm and the second named storm of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season. It ties the record set in 2017 for the earliest tropical storm to form in the Atlantic Main Development Region during a season, and experts say it is the earliest storm on record to ever form so far east in the Atlantic this early in the year.

Bret currently has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.

SEE MORE: Meteorologists predict ‘near-normal’ 2023 Atlantic hurricane season

The National Hurricane Center says Bret may strengthen into a hurricane over the next two days, and may reach Category 1 hurricane status, with wind speeds of at least 74 mph, by Wednesday night. Due to wind shear, Bret is not expected to strengthen further.

Bret is expected to pose the most risk to the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, which could see dangerous storm surge, rainfall flooding and hurricane-force winds though the National Hurricane Center says that this early in the storm’s lifetime, it’s difficult to predict where and when storm hazards may occur.

Forecasters warned the storm could later threaten the Dominican Republic or Haiti.

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