15 July 2008

Bertha moves out into the open ocean...

Bertha was a strong tropical storm when it passed over Bermuda Monday afternoon.  The island got hit by the northwest eyewall, then spent a few hours in the calm eye, then got the southwest eyewall, which came with very heavy rain and 60+ kt gusts.  Power was knocked out to thousands of people, and roads were flooded.  However, it sounds like they faired pretty well, with minimal damage and no injuries or deaths.

I got a live report from a colleague, Rick Taft, who is vacationing in Bermuda.  This was just prior to and during the first pass under the eyewall: "
We have had tons of rain and gusty winds all day today.  We've gone out in bathing suits several times to play in the pool during the stormy weather -- at times the pelting rain was painful!  Lots of fun!"  They were not near trees or anything dangerous, and there wasn't lightning, so I guess it's a nice way to pass time in heavy rain!  Certainly a big difference between this rather weak storm and what the island experienced in Fabian '03.

The 24-hour meteogram from Bermuda can be found here:
http://weather.uwyo.edu/surface/meteogram/images/sfgrama.080715_0555.txkf.gif (english)
http://weather.uwyo.edu/surface/meteogram/images/sfgramm.080715_0555.txkf.gif (metric)
Note the dip in central pressure, along with the cloud cover decrease, wind shifts, etc all associated with the eye passage.

The storm is now well northeast (~200 miles) of Bermuda, and is tracking NNE at 10kts.  The 15Z intensity estimate is 60kts and 995mb, nearly back to hurricane strength.  Bertha is expected to re-attain hurricane strength today and tomorrow and slowly make its way generally eastward into the open ocean.

The easterly wave I discussed yesterday is now located near 48W and moving W at 15kts.  There is still an embedded Low, but the system has not gotten any better organized.  In the coming days, the environment will become more hostile, so its chances for getting named are shrinking.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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