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Posted at 3:00 PM ET, 07/ 7/2008

Bertha Beefing Up

By Capital Weather Gang

5:00 p.m. update: Bertha is officially a major, category three hurricane.

3:00 p.m. update: The latest satellite imagery suggests Bertha has rapidly intensified today and is likely at least at category two intensity. Note the well-defined eye and symmetrical appearance.

Hurricane Bertha over the tropical Atlantic (lower right). Image courtesy NOAA's National Hurricane Center.

The second tropical storm of the season, and now the first hurricane of the season - Bertha - is gaining strength in the tropical Atlantic - 775 miles east of the Leeward Islands. As of 11 a.m., Bertha's maximum sustained winds were 90 mph, making it a strong category one storm. In the next 24-36 hours, Bertha may become at category two hurricane, with winds exceeding 100 mph. After that Bertha, may weaken as it turns north over cooler waters. Most computer models predict Bertha will head in the general direction of Bermuda, but the National Hurricane Center cautions "it is much too early to determine if Bertha will actually threaten that island."

For local weather, see our full forecast.

By Capital Weather Gang  | July 7, 2008; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  Tropical Weather  
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