Tropical Storm "Bertha" lashes Caribbean islands, strengthens as it moves away

Tropical Storm

The second named storm of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Tropical Storm "Bertha", is now drifting away from the Turks & Caicos Islands, the southern Bahamas and the Dominican Republic.

Bertha first crossed over the Dominican Republic on Sunday, August 3, 2014, just southwest of Puerto Rico, dropping 3 to 5 inches (8 - 13 centimeters) of rain, with isolated amounts of up to 8 inches. Overflowing rivers let to the temporary evacuation of dozens of families.  

Authorities in Puerto Rico said nearly 29 000 households were without electricity Sunday. Most of the power outages occurred in the central mountainous region following more than 1 200 lightning strikes that occurred in the area during afternoon hours alone.

However, the rainfall was welcomed by many in parched sections of the U.S. Caribbean island, where a moderate drought has withered crops. (FoxNews)

There were no reports of damage in the Turks & Caicos or the southern Bahamas. Overall, the people there were unimpressed by this storm. 

The system is now moving toward the north-northwest, to the east of Bahamas, and is strengthening quickly. It is forecast to become a hurricane by Monday night.

According to NHC report issued 06:05 UTC today, the center of Tropical Storm "Bertha" at 03:00 UTC was near 24.9N 73.2W or about 165 nautical miles (189 miles, 305 km) to the east of Eleutheria Island in the Bahamas. Bertha was moving at the speed of 15 knots (17.2 mph, 27.7 km/h). Estimated minimum central pressure was 1007 MB. Maximum sustained wind speeds were 55 knots (63.2 mph, 101 km/h) with gusts to 65 knots (74 mph, 120 km/h). 

Image credit: GOES EAST

Tropical Storm "Bertha" IR NHC Enhanced + forecast track. Image credit: UW CIMSS

Tropical Storm Force Wind Speed Probabilities - 120 Hours. August 4, 2014 at 06:00 UTC. Image credit: NOAA / NHC

Featured image credit: UW CIMSS

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