Friday, July 4, 2008

Hurricane Bertha (2008)

Storm Active: July 3-20

As July began, a tropical wave moved of the coast of Africa. Unlike many other systems of this region, the circulation remained intact. The wave continued to develop and on July 2, became Tropical Depression Two, with sustained winds of 35 mph and a pressure of 1008 millibars. Then, on the morning of July 3, Tropical Storm Bertha formed. Bertha's winds increased for the first time late on July 3 to 45 mph and the pressure dropped to 1002 millibars. Early on July 4, the track of Bertha shifted to the west, putting the storm closer to Bermuda in a week or so. Then the winds increased to 50 mph, where they would stay for awhile, as Bertha started moving more directly west. Then, during the evening of July 6, Bertha strengthened again into a storm with 60 mph winds and an internal pressure of 998 millibars. Bertha's track now puts it directly into Bermuda. On July 7, Bertha became a hurricane with 75 mph winds and a pressure of 994 millibars. Bertha is now bearing down on Bermuda. Then, Bertha rapidly intensified to a major hurricane and by early July 8, Bertha had reached its peak intensity of 120 mph and a pressure of 952 millibars. After that point, Bertha started to weaken. Also, Bertha turned northward. Then, on July 9, Bertha was downgraded and it only retained minimal hurricane status with 75 mph winds. Overnight, Bertha unexpectedly strengthened to a Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph winds and a pressure of 975 millibars. Also. the track shifted once again putting Bermuda back in danger by Sunday or Monday. Bertha currently has winds of 85 mph. Then over the next few days, Bertha stayed at minimal hurricane status. On July 13, bertha finally weakened to a tropical storm and on July 14 Bertha finally hit Bermuda with 30+ mph sustained winds and gusts above 40. By july 15, Bertha was moving off Bermuda. But a extratropical low moving south-west stopped Bertha and forced in briefly southward. Soon after, Bertha briefly became a minimal hurricane before weakening and becoming extratropical over Iceland.

Bertha as a major hurricane in the central Atlantic.

Track of Hurricane Bertha.

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