Tropical Storm Bertha is moving northwest, taking aim at Puerto Rico and expected to skirt the Dominican Republic’s coast.
The National Hurricane Center has issued a tropical storm warning for Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Dominica, Martinique, and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, while the Dominican Republic has issued a tropical storm watch.
Luckily, forecasters with the Hurricane Center say upper level winds are not favorable for further strengthening, so maximum sustained winds should remain at about 50 mph.
The long-term forecast calls for Bertha to keep moving west, but at some point curve back — missing the U.S. East Coast and cruising off into the Atlantic Ocean.
“Bertha is expected to generate up to 3 inches of rain across the eastern and northern Caribbean, with isolated amounts of up to 6 inches in certain areas.
“Officials in Puerto Rico are welcoming the rainfall amid a moderate drought that has hit the island’s southern region and a small portion in the northeast. More than half of the U.S. territory also is experiencing abnormally dry conditions, with the government reporting $20 million in crop losses.
“Strict rationing measures are scheduled to go into effect starting Aug. 6 if the storm doesn’t generate enough rain.”