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Tropical Storm Bertha Approaching Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic

- Tropical Storm Bertha to affect Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic Saturday.

- Bertha expected to then track through the southeast Bahamas Sunday.

- Bertha threats: Locally heavy rain/flash flooding, some strong wind gusts, rip currents.

- A U.S. threat appears unlikely, but can’t be completely ruled out yet.

Tropical Storm Bertha formed late Thursday night, about 275 miles east-southeast of Barbados and is now tracking quickly toward the Windward Islands.

As of Saturday afternoon (local time), Bertha was located about 110 miles south-southwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico and 150 miles south-southeast of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Tropical storm warnings are now in effect for Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, the eastern Dominican Republic and the southeastern Bahamas (see below).

Tropical storm-force winds (sustained wind speeds of 39 mph or greater) are expected in the warned areas in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic through Saturday night.

Bertha is expected to track near the Dominican Republic Saturday night into early Sunday, then the southeast Bahamas Sunday.

An area of low pressure aloft (called a tropical upper tropospheric trough or TUTT) is interacting with the tropical storm, producing wind shear (change in wind direction and/or speed with height) that is hostile for tropical cyclone intensification.

Bertha is also battling an atmosphere of dry air, also hostile for intensification, and its circulation may be further disrupted by passage over parts of Puerto Rico and possibly the Dominican Republic this weekend.

Therefore, the official forecast does not expect significant intensification of Bertha through at least early Sunday. In fact, it’s possible Bertha may degenerate to a tropical wave anytime this weekend.

Bertha may produce rainfall amounts of 1 to 3 inches across portions of the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the eastern Dominican Republic. Isolated totals up to 8 inches are possible over the higher terrain of southern and eastern Puerto Rico. Flash flood warnings have already been issued for parts of eastern Puerto Rico.

While Bertha’s rain will eventually prove beneficial with regards to the developing drought, too much rain too fast will also create hazardous flooding and mudslide conditions.


Category: DR News |

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Last updated October 22, 2016 at 2:00 PM
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