Monday, July 7, 2008

Bertha Now Category 3 Hurricane!

This is an example of why forecasting tropical systems is very difficult. Late last week, we were tracking the tropical wave that would become Tropical Storm Bertha. Computer models showed the storm never really gaining strength and curving northward into the middle of the Atlantic. Now, Bertha is a major hurricane, category 3, with winds up to 115 mph! The storm is still heading west northwest, but it does look like it is trying to curve north. We still think the storm will stay away from the east coast of the United States, but the island of Bermuda could get hit hard. Also, as you can tell from above, the computer models are having a hard time with Bertha. In fact, some of the models take her north for a little while then turn her back east, towards the Carolinas. There is still a lot of uncertainty in the extended part of the forecast. The good news for us, she will not make it into the Gulf of Mexico.