There is one positive about tropical cyclones – they often bring much needed rain to areas and as long as it’s not too much, too soon, it really can be a good thing.
Such is the case today with TS Bertha. Puerto Rico and surrounding islands have been very dry in recent months. Bertha is helping just a little with some much needed rain. While there is the risk of flash flooding, especially in the mountainous terrain, Bertha’s quick movement and disorganized structure will help to limit this impact. It looks like another 12 to 24 hours at the most and the rains will move on, passing over parts of the Dominican Republic and in to the extreme southeast Bahamas tomorrow and Monday.
Bertha has probably lost its well defined low level center and may not technically be a tropical cyclone – more of a strong tropical wave. This was not unexpected and while it might not ever recover, the computer models are actually in pretty good agreement that Bertha will eventually become a hurricane.
Once the storm moves out of the Caribbean, the environment in the atmosphere is forecast to be much more suited for development. Fortunately, Bertha will be well east of the United States and sufficiently west of Bermuda to avoid any direct impacts.
I do see the potential for increased swells and rip currents along parts of the East Coast later next week. I’ll have more on this once we see how strong Bertha does in fact get over the western Atlantic. Anyone with plans to head to the beach will want to just make sure you’re aware of the local surf conditions ahead of time. While it could be a nice few days for surfers, rip currents and rougher than normal breaking waves are a danger, especially to children who may think big waves are exciting while not understanding the risk.
Meanwhile, in the Pacific, we will need to watch hurricane Iselle closely in the coming days. It is likely to track far enough west as a tropical storm that it may bring rain and wind to Hawaii later next week.
As if this were not enough, global models are indicating the formation of another tropical cyclone to the east of Iselle which could also track west enough to impact Hawaii. The next 10 days are going to be quite interesting for the region as the Pacific has really come to life with a lot of tropical activity.
I will post more on all of these systems tomorrow morning.
M. Sudduth 12:38 PM ET Aug 2