Bertha becomes first hurricane of 2008 season - UPDATES
Tropical Storm Bertha has further strengthened and is now becomes the first hurricane of the 2008 Atlantic season.
At 4 a.m., the center of Hurricane Bertha was about 845 miles east of the Northern Leeward Islands.
Bertha is moving toward the west-northwest near 17 mph. A continued west-northwestward motion with a gradual decrease in forward speed is expected during the next couple of days as Bertha remains over the waters of the central tropical Atlantic. It is still too early to determine if Bertha will eventually affect any land areas.
THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE TO THE NORTH OF
BERTHA IS PROVIDING THE STEERING...BUT THAT FEATURE IS FORECAST BY
THE DYNAMICAL MODELS TO GRADUALLY WEAKEN OVER THE WESTERN ATLANTIC
DURING THE NEXT FEW DAYS...ALLOWING BERTHA'S TRACK TO STEADILY BEND
TO THE RIGHT...BUT ALSO SLOW DOWN SUBSTANTIALLY.
National Hurricane Center
It will pass near Bermuda.
UPDATE: 11 AM
THE OFFICIAL FORECAST NOW CALLS FOR
BERTHA TO BECOME A CATEGORY TWO HURRICANE.
BERMUDA SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS SYSTEM.
It's possible the pressure systems and high sheer may weaken and slow the storm. It is still too early to estimate where it will turn north or if it will effect Bermuda.
UPDATE: 8 PM CDT
Bertha is now a Category Three Hurricane! And it looks like it's headed straight for Bermuda. See latest graphic from the National Hurricane Center.
UPDATE: 12:12 PM
Hurricane Bertha is weakening, now Category Two, turning more to the right. but Bermuda is still in danger, and should continue monitoring this storm.