10 July 2008

Bertha still heading toward Bermuda...

CAT1 hurricane Bertha is still heading northwest, and has undergone an eyewall replacement cycle today.  In this cycle, a larger, weaker eyewall encircles the original smaller eyewall, chokes it off, and replaces it.  In time, it too contracts, and during this process the storm would typically fluctuate in intensity (weaken during the new eyewall formation, and strengthen during the new eyewall contraction).

That said, the intensity estimate as of 21Z today is 75kts and 980mb.  It's located about 400 miles southeast of Bermuda and tracking northwest at 9kts.  It still has an open eye, and is in an environment favorable for strengthening, in addition to the eyewall cycle factor.  Large-scale flow is becoming complicated, which means the track forecast is becoming less certain.  Motion over the next few days should be generally NW to N, but slowing and becoming erratic.  This puts Bermuda at risk for several days, not knowing if it will hit them or not.  Bertha has already been around for one week, and probably will be for another week!

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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