11 July 2008

Recurvature expected soon for Bertha...

Bertha is slowly nearing Bermuda, but they should be spared from a direct hit, as a mid-latitude trough is coming to their rescue (not all models agree on this though).  The trough would nudge Bertha northeastward, away from the island and out to higher shear and cooler water.  As it approaches the island though, you can monitor it via radar: http://einstein.atmos.colostate.edu/~mcnoldy/tropics/bertha08/Bertha_12Jul08.gif
As of this writing, only the outermost rainbands are within the radar's range.

The satellite presentation is certainly not as impressive as it had been in recent days.  The inner core is somewhat disorganized, with a large ragged eye surrounded by a not-so-complete eyewall.  However, outflow aloft is symmetric and healthy, the SSTs are around 28C, and there's presently very weak vertical wind shear.

As of 21Z today, the intensity is 80kts and 976mb, based on the first aircraft recon flight into the storm.  It is tracking NNW at 4kts.  Bertha should be near Bermuda for the next few days with such a slow motion.
A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the island.

The forecast is for continued slow erratic motion toward the NW-N, then tomorrow afternoon start heading N-NE.  Intensity should remain nearly steady until the trough imposes stronger shear over the system.  Even if it does end up passing very near or over Bermuda, it's not a terribly strong hurricane.  Their last encounter was with Florence on 9/12/06 (CAT1), and then the infamous Fabian on 9/5/03 (CAT3).

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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