In the Gulf of Mexico, residents of Texas, Louisiana and MS are watching a developing system closely.
At 5pm EST Monday, following a Hurricane Hunter mission, the National Hurricane Center confirmed that a tropical system off the coast of Venezuela had developed into a storm.
Tropical Storm Bret's maximum sustained winds rose a bit to 45 miles per hour, but the storm is expected to begin to weaken later today.
"A tropical storm warning is now in effect from Cameron, Louisiana to the mouth of the Pearl River".
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The tropical moisture is connected to a system that, as of early Tuesday morning, was still not a tropical depression or tropical storm, but is likely to become one.
The National Hurricane Center extended the Tropical Storm warning westward to High Island, TX, and the Tropical Storm Watch from west of High Island to San Luis Pass, TX.
Tropical storm force winds begin at 39 miles per hour, but this system doesn't have organized storms near its center, and it also has a large wind field. Forecaster say TS Bret is substantially farther west than anticipated, as the system is now moving toward the west-northwest at a very quick 26 kt.
Residents along the U.S. Gulf Coast from the central Texas coast to the western Florida Panhandle are being urged to keep an eye on this storm. Tropical storm watches had also been issued for the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao).
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Florida and Alabama aren't out of the woods, however; the National Weather Service in Mobile issued a bulletin Monday afternoon, saying that "significant weather impacts are expected across our region as all of the heavy weather will be well east of the [storm's] center".
The storm could strengthen slightly before it reaches the coast, the hurricane center said.
The next storm names on the 2017 list are Bret and Cindy, since Tropical Storm Arlene formed in the Atlantic in April.
Oil prices slip as US rigs rise
Meanwhile, global demand for crude will only jump by 1.4 million barrels a day, led by economic expansion in China and India. Traders noted the Brent front-month contract was at the highest premium since late May over the same WTI contract.
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