Bertha Weakens, But Waves Increase (Updated)August 5th, 2014 at 7:45 am by Jeremy Wheeler under Weather
Midday Update (See below for morning update):
Bertha has weakened even more and now has maximum sustained winds of 60mph. Bertha should continue to weaken as it will move into an area with high wind shear. Red flags are flying at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront thanks to Bertha. Waves heights will increase even more this afternoon and there will be a high threat for rip currents. Here is the latest beach forecast.
It has been interesting to track Bertha over the last couple of days. It started as such a weak system, that it was hard to believe that it could become a hurricane. Yesterday it was a hurricane, but it has already weakened back to a tropical storm since the overnight hours. It is about 200 miles ESE of Hatteras, NC. It is moving northeast at over 20mph and now has sustained winds around 65mph. The storm really looked like it fell apart on the satellite. Then a few storms fired up north of the center.
The system is fairly disorganized. It is beginning to move over cooler waters, and the wind shear has picked up as well. So the storm may weaken a bit more in the short term. It is forecast to stay as a tropical storm for the next 48 hours. In that time, however, it will start to wrap in some cooler air and make the transition to extra-tropical. That will probably happen Wednesday into Thursday, but may happen sooner.
While the storm will stay far from here, we will still see some impacts. We will NOT see any rain nor any wind from Bertha. Instead we will see an increase in waves. About 4-6ft around the Outer Banks. 3-5 ft around Virginia Beach. This will also, however, increase the rip current threat (high). So swimmers will need to use caution. Red flags will likely be flying at the beaches.
Other than those local affects, we have also had some nuisances in the region. We had some patchy thick fog this morning in a few locations. We also had some scattered light showers. We’ll continue to see a few scattered showers today as moisture lingers behind a developing cold front. This is the stationary front that has been sitting over the region for the past 3 days.
The cold front will slowly move away from the region today. That should help skies to clear up a bit later this afternoon as some dryer air moves into the region. The showers will be scattered with a 30% chance for rain. There will be a little higher chance over northeast North Carolina. Highs will be in the low/mid 80s with east winds at 5-10mph.
Tomorrow will be partly cloudy with some warmer temperatures. Highs will be in the upper 80s with just an isolated shower or storm late in the day. There will be a few scattered showers tomorrow night into early Thursday. That will be another cold front moving through the region. So we should dry out by Thursday afternoon. Then we are looking good through Saturday. There will be a few showers trying to return by Sunday.
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler