It has been a relatively slow start to the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season. We've only had one named storm, so far... Arthur. Arthur developed as a tropical depression east of Florida on June 31st and strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane by July 3rd and made landfall near Cape Lookout, NC that night. Check out the track below:
Just as we start the month of August a new tropical storm is upon us. Tropical Storm Bertha developed late Thursday night and is approaching the Lesser Antilles. Bertha, as of the 5pm update from the National Hurricane Center has winds of 55 mph and is moving WNW at 24mph. Check out the storm spinning on satellite imagery.
Bertha, as of right now, is not expected to strengthen significantly. In fact, the latest track from NHC keeps Bertha at tropical storm strength through the extended forecast time frame. Here's the latest track:
If you have travel plans to the Caribbean, Bahamas, etc., you'll certainly want to keep a close eye on the track of the storm. Bertha is forecast to continue on its WNW track before turning to the NE late Monday after heading farther out to sea. It doesn't look like Bertha will have an impact on the lower 48.
Remember Hurricane Bertha from 1996? Bertha reached Category 3 hurricane strength with max winds to 115 mph on July 9th. Bertha then made landfall between Wrightsville and Topsail Beach, NC as a Category 2 hurricane on July 12th. Click here for an extensive overview of the storm courtesy of the National Weather Service in Newport/Morehead City, NC. Check out the track below and the satellite image from when Bertha made landfall:
It looks like this time around Bertha will not have a similar effect on the east coast of the U.S., as it did in 1996. The Stormwatch7 weather team will continue to keep you informed of all tropical updates through the rest of the hurricane season, which goes through November 30th.