Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bertha Barrels On: Day 14

Described by the National Hurricane Center as a "powerful system with a large wind field", Tropical Storm Bertha continued churning generally eastward in the Atlantic today. Maximum winds are about 70 mph, and the storm has now turned to the southeast at 5 mph from a position about 360 miles northeast of Bermuda. A couple more days of tropical storm status are likely.

Elsewhere, the tropics remain active for this early in the season. A tropical wave which is now about 200 miles east of the Windward Islands has become well organized, and a reconnaissance flight was sent out this afternoon to investigate. At 6 pm, the Hurricane Center issued a Special Tropical Disturbance Statement, which indicated that the system is not yet ready to be classified as a tropical depression, but it could become so in the near future.

Another stormy area, in the southwestern Caribbean, has shown signs of organization, and it could develop further before it moves into Central America tomorrow.

An area of disorganized storm activity over Florida and the northeast Gulf of Mexico is unlikely to develop, but it could bring much-needed drought relief to parts of the Southeast with some locally heavy rains.

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