Monday, July 14, 2008

Bertha Bothers Bermuda
Cristobal Wannabe Waiting in Wings

5 pm Update: The center of Tropical Storm Bertha has now passed by Bermuda and is located about 65 miles northeast of the island. The strongest winds, however, will be moving over the area in the next couple of hours. Maximum winds are 70 mph, and the storm is moving north at a slightly faster pace, about 9 mph.

3 pm Update: A reconnaissance flight has found near hurricane-force winds in a rainband to the southwest of the center of Tropical Storm Bertha. This band will be moving over Bermuda in the next couple of hours, so the Tropical Storm Warning for the island has been extended to a Hurricane Watch. Winds have gusted as high as 68 mph at the airport.

Tropical Storm Bertha, with maximum winds of 65 mph, is moving northward at 7 mph as of 11 am this morning. The center of the storm is about 60 miles east southeast of Bermuda, with tropical storm force winds extending outward up to 140 miles. The Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect for Bermuda. Winds at Wade International Airport are currently 31 mph, gusting to 46 mph. Gusts as high as 55 mph have been reported. Elsewhere on the island, winds in excess of 60 mph have been observed. Several airlines have cancelled departures today.

The tropical wave which is now about 1300 miles east of the Lesser Antilles is becoming more organized, and it could become a tropical depression at any time in the next day or so. If it becomes named, it would be called Tropical Storm Cristobal.

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