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Season's second tropical storm going to sea

Tropical Storm Bret, the second named storm of the 2011 Atlantic season, is smacking the northwest Bahamas with heavy rains and wind. But the tempest is not expected to head for U.S. shores.

The latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center in Miami says Bret is expected to remain at Tropical Storm force this week as it moves generally north and east between the Carolinas and Bermuda. Top sustained winds are currently about 50 mph. I'd expect it to kick up some surf on the Outer Banks and perhaps even on the Delmarva beaches.

NOAA will be sending Hurricane Hunter aircraft into the storm later today to gauge its dimensions. And forecasters say there is some likelihood Bret will gain some further strength as it pulls away from the Bahamas. But increasing wind shear later this week is expected to prevent it from becoming a hurricane.

Here is the latest advisory. Here is the forecast storm track. And here is the forecast discussion

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