July 14, 2008

Bertha’s Storm Center Passes Bermuda

The center of Tropical Storm Bertha passed Bermuda Monday afternoon, moving to the north with 65 mph winds that were lashing rain, U.S. forecasters said.

At 2 p.m., Bertha was moving north near 7 mph and was centered about 40 miles east-northeast of the island, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami reported.

Although the center of Bertha is now edging away from Bermuda, strong winds in a rain band to the southwest of the center have yet to clear the island, the report said.

Tropical storm force winds with gusts up to 75 mph extend 140 miles from the storm center, forecasters said.

Little change in strength was expected in the next two days and a slight turn to the northeast was predicted for Tuesday, taking the storm away from any land.

Earlier in the day, forecasters warned U.S. coastal residents of risks associated with Bertha.

Dangerous rip currents are also occurring along the U.S. East Coast from the Carolinas through southern New England, the forecasters said.