Tropical Storm Bertha 5-day forecast track. NHC/NOAA graphic
By Caribbean News Now contributor
MIAMI, USA -- Tropical storm Bertha formed in the western Atlantic on Thursday night and a tropical storm warning is in effect for Barbados, St Lucia, Dominica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands. A tropical storm watch is in effect for St Vincent and the Grenadines.
According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, at 8:00 am EDT on Friday, the center of tropical storm Bertha was located about 110 miles east-northeast of Barbados and about 220 miles east-southeast of Martinique moving toward the west-northwest near 20 mph. This general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days.
On the forecast track, Bertha is expected to pass near or north of Barbados during the Friday morning and move through the central Lesser Antilles Friday night, and into the northeastern Caribbean on Saturday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph, with higher gusts. No significant change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours. An Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft was en route on Friday morning to investigate Bertha.
Tropical storm conditions are expected to reach the warning area by midday Friday, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Tropical storm conditions are expected in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on Saturday. Bertha is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 1 to 3 inches with isolated amounts up to 6 inches across portions of the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands through Saturday night.
Interests elsewhere across the northeastern Caribbean Sea and Hispaniola should monitor the progress of this system.