Monday, July 7, 2008

Bertha becomes the season's first hurricane

From Jeff Masters' Wunderblog:
The 2008 hurricane season's first hurricane is here--Hurricane Bertha. Bertha is the earliest forming July hurricane since Hurricane Cindy (July 6, 2005) and Hurricane Dennis (July 7, 2005). Bertha took advantage of warmer Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) of 27°C and modest wind shear of 10-15 knots to put on a burst of intensification to hurricane strength overnight. The storm has continued to intensify since the 5 am EDT NHC advisory, with some satellite estimates giving Bertha 90 mph winds--just below the threshold of Category 2 status. Visible satellite loops show a well-formed eye with excellent upper-level outflow to the north. The Hurricane Hunters are scheduled to make their first visit to Bertha on Tuesday afternoon to get a better idea of the storm's true strength....MORE