Tropical Storm Bertha five-day forecast track. NHC/NOAA graphic
By Caribbean News Now contributor
MIAMI, USA -- The centre of Tropical Storm Bertha was passing just south of Puerto Rico on Saturday morning, moving toward the west-northwest near 22 mph. A turn toward the northwest is expected by Saturday night, with this motion continuing through Sunday night.
On the forecast track, the centre of Bertha should pass near Puerto Rico during Saturday and near or over the eastern portion of the Dominican Republic on Saturday night, and near or over the southeastern Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands on Sunday.
A tropical storm warning has been issued for portions of the Dominican Republic, the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Warnings remain in effect for Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands. A tropical storm watch is in effect for the central Bahamas. Interests elsewhere across the northeastern Caribbean Sea and Hispaniola should monitor the progress of this system.
According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, at 11:00 am on Saturday, the centre of Tropical Storm Bertha was located 90 miles south-southwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and about 230 miles east-southeast of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Maximum sustained winds were near 50 mph, with higher gusts. Little change in strength is expected through Sunday. Slow strengthening is possible Sunday night and Monday.
Tropical storm conditions should spread over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico during the day on Saturday and are expected over the eastern Dominican Republic by Saturday night, and are expected in the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands by early Sunday. Wind gusts to tropical storm force could occur in squalls over the remainder of the Leeward Islands on Saturday afternoon. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area in the central Bahamas by Monday.
Bertha is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 1 to 3 inches with isolated amounts up to 5 inches across portions of the leeward islands, the US and British Virgin Islands, eastern portions of the Dominican republic as well as the Turks and Caicos through Sunday night. Rainfall totals of 3 to 5 inches with isolated maximum totals of 8 inches are possible across Puerto Rico, with the heaviest totals across the southern and eastern portions of the island.