UPDATE Tuesday 8/5 6am:
Bertha is now a tropical storm.
What was the second named hurricane of the 2014 Atlantic season weakened overnight. The storm is expected to pass halfway between Bermuda and the East Coast today.
The storm is still packing maximum sustained winds of 65 miles an hour, but isn't expected to threaten states along the Eastern Seaboard
UPDATE 8/4 10:53AM
MIAMI (AP) _ Hurricane Bertha has formed in the Atlantic off the U.S. East Coast but isn't expected to be a threat to land.
The second hurricane of the Atlantic season had maximum sustained winds near 80 mph (130 kph) with little change expected in the next 24 hours. It was forecast to start weakening Tuesday.
The hurricane is centered about 230 miles (370 kilometers) northeast of Great Abaco Island and is moving north near 17 mph (28 kph).
The storm brushed the Turks and Caicos Islands and southeastern Bahamas over the weekend as a tropical storm.
The current forecast map predicts that the center of the storm will stay offshore through Thursday.
UPDATE 8/2 6:34AM
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) _ Tropical Storm Bertha swirled through the eastern Caribbean as it unleashed heavy rains and strong winds in the region, knocking out power on some islands.
The storm's maximum sustained winds held at 50 mph (85 kph) early Saturday, and no significant change in strength was expected over the next two days. Bertha was centered about 140 miles (225 kilometers) south southeast of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands and was moving west-northwest at 22 mph (35 kph).
The storm's maximum sustained winds held at 50 mph (85 kph), and no significant change in strength was expected over the next two days. Bertha was centered about 180 miles (295 kilometers) southeast of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands and was moving west-northwest at 22 mph (35 kph) late Friday.
Hurricane hunter aircraft continue to monitor how Tropical Storm Bertha develops out in the Atlantic.
Tropical Storm Bertha is on the move, packing a stronger punch across the Caribbean.
But no need to hunker down here in South Florida..National Hurricane Center meteorologist Dennis Feltgen says models have Bertha passing over the extreme lower Bahamas maybe more toward Turks and Caicos by Monday-- far enough away where we won't see any direct effect.
It may gain some steam into next week- but not as a hurricane.
The NHC has posted:
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WATCH FOR THE EASTERN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC FROM CABO FRANCES VIEJO TO ISLA SAONA. THE METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE OF BARBADOS HAS DISCONTINUED ALL WARNINGS AND WATCHES FOR BARBADOS...ST. VINCENT...AND THE GRENADINES. SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT... A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR... * ST. LUCIA * DOMINICA * MARTINIQUE * PUERTO RICO * VIEQUES * CULEBRA * U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS * BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR... * THE EASTERN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC FROM CABO FRANCES VIEJO TO ISLA SAONA
Tropical Storm Bertha has been born way out in the Atlantic Ocean.
It skipped the Tropical Depression phase.
National Hurricane Center forecasters say it has maximum sustained winds of 45 miles-per-hour and is quickly moving toward the west-northwest.
Tropical Storm warnings are up for Barbados, Dominica and St. Lucia.
It's Tropical Storm watches for Puerto Rico, Vieques, the U.S. Virgin Islands and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Bertha's not expected to have a direct impact on Florida's weather.
It should curve away and potentially approach the North Carolina coast.
(Photo Credit: NASA / 2005 NASA)