Will devote this hurricane season to provide up-to-the-minute, basic information when a tropical system is threatening land. Both basins included.
By: hurricaneben , 7:31 PM GMT on August 01, 2014
Following a quiet lull in tropical activity, we are tracking newly-formed Tropical Storm Bertha and its immediate effects on the Lesser Antilles (particularly Barbados and Martinique in the coming hours) and the potential for significant impacts on the Dominican Republic, an area susceptible to devastating flash floods.
Maximum sustained winds remain at around 50 MPH, as of the 2PM advisory, and it is racing to the WNW at 22 MPH on a collision course that would place it over Puerto Rico by tomorrow (Sat.) afternoon and a close brush with Dominican Republic, an area vulnerable to flash flooding. So far, it looks like the highest potential for damage (namely flooding) exists over Puerto Rico, expected to receive the brunt of the rainfall. Maximum amounts could top 10 inches, which is capable of producing dangerous flash flooding, this is an area of concern we will have to closely monitor. Tropical storm warnings exist for various islands such as Dominica and Martinique, Vieques, Culebra and much of the Virgin Islands. Its quick pace should prevent any substantial weakening once it moves over Puerto Rico, and it should re-emerge near the SE Bahamas primarily intact, unless it takes a more westward track where the mountainous terrain of Dominican Republic should work to tear at the circulation somewhat. Again, primary concern remains the flooding potential over Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic should be spared from rainfall needed to cause dangerous flooding and mudslides but this is not set in stone, there remains uncertainty. The dangers may be winding down once Bertha emerges into the Atlantic waters but the game is not. Marginally favorable conditions exist for some re-strengthening, particularly after it passes 30N, 30-knot shear before then may be detrimental to its strengthening potential. Again, the Continental US should be in the clear zone if this forecast track verifies, elevated surf and rip currents off the Outer Banks of North Carolina are the only plausible effect at this time. It does not appear that Bermuda should face any significant effects, but we will thoroughly monitor that possibility.
Those of you in Puerto Rico especially, I would not tamper with the risk of flash flooding, monitor your latest forecasts and heed any advisories and/or precautionary orders from emergency managers, authorities, etc.
An update will be provided as time permits in the next 24 hours, likely sooner. Until then, stay safe and be alert for deteriorating conditions if you are in a flood-prone zone.
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.
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