Jul 31, 2014 11:26 PM by Rob Perillo
The National Hurricane Center upgraded the disturbance near the Eastern Caribbean to Tropical Storm Bertha at 10pm Thursday night.
The disturbance garnered the upgrade to tropical storm status as convection (showers & tropical squalls) had begun to wrap around the center.
Bertha was located roughly 275 miles east-southeast of Barbados/Windward Islands with maximum sustained winds near 45 mph.
Bertha was moving west-northwestward near 20 mph which will bring it to the Eastern Caribbean Islands by late Friday.
Some dry Saharan air and some moderate upper level winds will conspire to keep Bertha a tropical storm as it heads for the north central Caribbean including Puerto Rico and Hispaniola late Saturday, with a curve northward through the Bahamas Sunday into Monday.
An upper level trough in the Eastern U.S. that will keep fairly high rain chances across the Gulf States should help to steer Bertha east of the U.S. East Coast.
Bertha Forecast Track: