Bertha back at Category 2 strength

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:01 PM GMT on July 10, 2008

Hurricane Bertha is back at Category 2 status, and appears destined to become one of the longest-lasting July hurricanes on record. Hurricane Emily of 2005 spent seven full days at hurricane strength in July, which I believe is the record. Bertha is halfway there. The storm is in no hurry to recurve out to sea, and will spend 3-4 more days over waters warm enough to maintain it at hurricane intensity. At that time, wind shear is expected to increase to 30 knots, which should knock Bertha down to tropical storm status. The models continue to show that Bertha may slow down and move erratically this weekend, and possibly threaten Bermuda. By the middle of next week, Bertha should be headed towards the Maritime Provinces of Canada, and may affect them as a tropical storm.


Figure 1. This natural-color image of Hurricane Bertha was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite on July 9, 2008, at 14:45 UTC (10:45 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time). Shortly after, the National Hurricane Center estimated that Bertha was a Category 1 storm, with maximum sustained wind speeds of 75 miles per hour. Bertha was compact when MODIS observed it, a small ball of clouds with a long line of thunderstorms trailing away to the southeast. The eye of the storm had clouded over. Image credit: NASA.

Elsewhere in the tropics
There are no threat areas to discuss in the tropical Atlantic. The ECMWF model is predicting that a tropical depression may form between Africa and the Lesser Antilles Islands in seven days. The UKMET and GFS have shown a similar development during various runs over the past two days, but their current runs are showing just a strong tropical disturbance in this region next week. Stay tuned.

I'll post an update Friday morning.
Jeff Masters


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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1449. hurricanejunky
2:55 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
Interesting tidbits from one of my state meteorologist contacts:
NOAA reports: "Based on current atmospheric and oceanic conditions, recent trends, and model forecasts, ENSO-neutral conditions are expected to continue into Northern Hemisphere Fall 2008." See -http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_advisory/index.shtml
for the rest of the story.

What this means hurricane-season-wise is that there will be little wind shear to inhibit tropical cyclone development; hence, could be a busy Fall for us. Now, you need to keep an eye on the position of the Bermuda High which could either direct the storms out to the Atlantic, ala 2007 season, or elsewhere….

Your guys thoughts on this?
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1447. Tejano72
2:21 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
Patrap - the Unisys GFS has been pretty accurate.
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1446. muddertracker
1:34 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
How can you tell how strong/weak a trough is, visually?
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1445. JRRP
1:25 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
do you think the convection near 43w 11n could be the next INVEST??

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1444. Patrap
1:14 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
FNMOC(NAVY)

PUBLIC PRODUCTSLink
Meteorology Oceanography


1. Global & Regional Weather Prediction Charts (WXMAP)
2. Global Ensemble Weather Prediction Charts (EFS)
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1443. IKE
1:13 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
On the 6Z GFDL and HWRF runs....in 6 days/144 hours...Bertha should be about out of the picture as to any affect on the CATL wave/system....IF the model runs are correct. Assuming something forms in the CATL.
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1442. watchingnva
1:12 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
she is still having issues closing off that huge eye of hers...tand the inner eye just doesnt want to go away completely....i dont think it will be much longer though...maybe a a few more hours...then she will probly be beautiful...
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1441. Patrap
1:12 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
Model Madness...Arrrghhhhhhh!!!

UNCLASSIFIED
FNMOC WXMAP Model: NOGAPS Area: Tropical Atlantic DTG: 2008071106
500mb Heights Relative Vorticity Temp [C] Link
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1440. philliesrock
1:07 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
Quoting IKE:
Quoting philliesrock:
The NOGAPS now develops something in the EATL


Are you talking about the 6Z run?

No, the 0z run...but I see the 6z run still has something there.

This is pretty impressive, considering that the NOGAPS didn't develop Bertha until it came off the coast.
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1439. extreme236
1:07 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
The ADT is starting to pick up an eye feature again:

UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 7.2.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 11 JUL 2008 Time : 121500 UTC
Lat : 28:12:15 N Lon : 61:44:46 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
4.3 / 981.0mb/ 72.2kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
4.0 4.4 4.4

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : -1.2mb

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR : 40 km

Center Temp : +4.4C Cloud Region Temp : -48.9C

Scene Type : LARGE EYE

Positioning Method : SPIRAL ANALYSIS

Ocean Basin : ATLANTIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : ATLANTIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : NO LIMIT
Weakening Flag : ON
Rapid Dissipation Flag : FLAG
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1438. Drakoen
1:04 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
Interesting stuff from the ECMWF.
Photobucket
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1437. IKE
1:04 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
Quoting philliesrock:
The NOGAPS now develops something in the EATL


Are you talking about the 6Z run?
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1436. TheCaneWhisperer
12:55 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
That is one heck of a large eye to close up too, lol.
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1435. NEwxguy
12:54 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
generally when there is a ridge in the west,there is a trough in the east,not etched in stone,but that usually happens.If its warm in the west,I am cool here in new england.
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1434. TampaSpin
12:53 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
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1433. all4hurricanes
12:52 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
Bertha has been putting her act together for 18 hours the end result better be good.
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1432. TheCaneWhisperer
12:50 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
Latest MIMIC. Last image is 1 hour old and still trying to close up. Very close though.
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1431. extreme236
12:50 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
12Z model runs were set to 75 knots and is in agreement with the AMSU/TAFB/SAB estimates.
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1430. Buhdog
12:49 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
1428.....


LOL
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1429. Patrap
12:46 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
UNYSIS 10-Day GFSx Link
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1428. spwelton
12:44 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
Thats a nice image of the hurricane.
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1427. extreme236
12:43 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
Dvorak estimates/AMSU estimates:

09:23 AMSU 75 knots
09:42 AMSU 76 knots
11:45 TAFB 77 knots
11:45 SAB 77 knots
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1426. Patrap
12:43 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
Bertha

ESL WV Loop Link

IR Loop Link
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1425. melwerle
12:41 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
thanks Phillie - haven't seen that page before. Bookmarking it - thank you.
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1423. Tazmanian
12:39 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
what is this??? is this what mode runs are forcasting????

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1422. TheCaneWhisperer
12:38 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
Strong High pressure builds in on the west coast and affects patterns the same way our Bermuda/Azores high does here. In 2005 the 3 highs bridged together frequently, limiting the amount of troughs that we're able to dig to the south thus keeping shear unusually low.
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1421. TampaSpin
12:38 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
If a large anticyclon is over a large area 2 storms can develop as long as they are about 700 miles apart.
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1420. philliesrock
12:38 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
Quoting melwerle:
1413.

Hey Phillies - can you give me a link where the models are showing a major hurricane hitting the east coast? I can't find it.

Thanks, Melissa

CMC ensembles...don't even look for the GFS ensembles, they didn't even develop Bertha...lol
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1419. melwerle
12:34 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
1413.

Hey Phillies - can you give me a link where the models are showing a major hurricane hitting the east coast? I can't find it.

Thanks, Melissa
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1418. TampaSpin
12:34 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
Morning everyone...Bertha is still undergoing an eyewall replacement cycle. It has taken in my opinion an unsually long time because of the cool waters. If this had been in the GOM that cycle would have been speed up.
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1417. extreme236
12:31 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
1412.

Well she is a bit more than "just north of it" she is more like thousands of miles NW of it. The wave wouldn't look any different than it does now even if Bertha was gone. But anyway back to Bertha.
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1416. TheCaneWhisperer
12:30 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
Typically when it's quiet in the EPAC it's active in the Atlantic. There's always exceptions to the rule though.
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1415. philliesrock
12:29 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
GFS, Euro, CMC stall Bertha...and strengthen it into a huge hurricane, just sitting there for about a week.
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1414. TheCaneWhisperer
12:28 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
Good Morning LeeLee.

Not necessarily the fires have an impact but, the pattern that caused them plays a roll in Atlantic winds and troughs ect...
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1413. philliesrock
12:25 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
The CMC ensembles, when they all agree this year, have been great at forecasting TC's...that is why we must worry. Almost all of them show a violent hurricane slam the East Coast, from Florida all the way up to New England (which has been the most popular spot).

Just sayin'. =)
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1411. stormdude77
12:24 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
I may be out of my mind, but the GFS and UKMET seem to want to develop the Twave around 40W? Any thoughts?
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1410. BahaHurican
12:23 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
Quoting all4hurricanes:
Notice when Berta as gets closer to Bermuda predictions call for a sharper turn away from the island


A trough is supposed to come through there tomorrow that will turn it towards the N / E in the short term.

I don't think it's a good sign that the first two storms of the season, one in June, one in July, both are landfalling storms.

And, since we are on the subject of landfalling storms, don't forget that the Azores are out there just WAITING for a hurricane hit. They've had their fair share over the years - and I don't mean former, extratropical hurricanes, either. I think they got hit in 2006 . . . lol
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1409. extreme236
12:22 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
When that eye pops out again...and if she still has the circular pattern with no banding features she's gonna look like an annular hurricane at least for a little while.
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1408. leelee75k
12:21 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
Since most of the models seems to be in agreement,then the atlantic is in labor and cristobal will be born soon.

btw I have a somewhat related weather question, is there any correlation between the West Coast dry fire conditions and the intensity of the atlantic hurricane season?
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1407. TheCaneWhisperer
12:20 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
There we're several comments about that yesterday Biff. She's not going to do much at all until the EWRC is complete. I personally don't think it's quite done with that yet. You'll know when it's done without a doubt. Shouldn't take long at all to rebound given the structure.
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1406. all4hurricanes
12:19 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
Notice when Berta as gets closer to Bermuda predictions call for a sharper turn away from the island
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1405. stormdude77
12:19 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
Quoting philliesrock:
The NOGAPS now develops something in the EATL


Yeah...and it looks to be carrying it on a more southerly course...interesting!
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1404. philliesrock
12:14 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
The NOGAPS now develops something in the EATL
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1403. extreme236
12:14 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
1400.

Maybe when recon heads out Bertha will be out of this EWRC...
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1402. biff4ugo
12:13 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
I haven't heard much from people talking about the over all shape of the storm, but Bertha is remarkably symetrical and getting denser. I believe that symetry is one of the big reasons it is holding together so well even with the rising and falling sheer environment.
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1401. extreme236
12:12 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
1398.

I don't know why Steve said it but usually just because one person says something doesn't mean its true...look at that pic from 1995...Steve's not right.
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1400. TheCaneWhisperer
12:12 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
2pm today recon is going.

HERE is a link I throw out a lot. It helps when dealing with Zulu times.
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1399. stormlvr
12:10 PM GMT on July 11, 2008
1382. extreme236 11:49 AM GMT on July 11, 2008
1385. NC0WX0Man 11:52 AM GMT on July 11, 2008

The forecast development in the CATL certainly could develop and Bertha could have an impact on trek as ridging will likely nose in to the south of her and help maintain a lower latitude track for the new system. Less likely but still possible is an area off the SE coast over the next few days as reenforcing shots of energy rotate offshore over a stalled/decaying front/trof.
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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather