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Hurricane Bertha Strengthens Over Atlantic East of Caribbean

By Sue Richards last modified Jul 08, 2008 10:31 AM

Published: 2008-07-08 10:31:01
Topics: Weather
Countries: Bermuda

Powerful Bertha, the first hurricane of the 2008 season, is maintaining major hurricane status, according to the National Hurricane Centre.

Currently 675nm ENE of the Northern Leeward Islands and 1000nm SE of Bermuda, the storm formed last Thursday in the far eastern Atlantic, off the coast of Africa, near the southern Cape Verde Islands. It strengthened into a hurricane early Monday.

Bertha is moving in a NE direction at approximately 10mph and this general motion is expected to continue for the next 48 hours.

Bertha's maximum sustained wind speed has increased to 120 mph although higher guests are expected. Hurricane force winds extend outwards up to 30nm from the centre and tropical storm force winds up to 115nm.

Whilst still a long way from land, it is expected that the effects of Bertha may be felt by Bermuda at the weekend, although a gradual weakening trend is expected to begin within the next couple of days as Bertha moves towards higher latitudes.

The first tropical storm of the season, Arthur, formed May 31 near the coast of Belize and dumped heavy rain on Central America and southern Mexico.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. Bertha is a Category 3 storm, the third-most powerful on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale. Category 3 storms have winds between 111 and 130 mph.

For more details see the latest advisory at the National Hurricane Centre.

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