Hurricane Bertha will come close to Bermuda by the end of the weekend.
Category 1 Hurricane Bertha is steadily but slowly moving to the northwest on Thursday night just over 400 miles SSE of the island of Bermuda. Bertha was a category 3 storm just 36 hours ago but has since weakened a bit. Some slight strengthening could occur over the next 24 hours but it is unlikely she will become a major hurricane again. Fortunately, she does not appear to be moving in our direction. Hurricanes are rare in the Atlantic Ocean during the month of July. In fact, the 1996 Hurricane Bertha was the only July hurricane to hit the North Carolina coast directly in the past 100 years. Typically, Eastern North Carolina is more vulnerable to these storms as we head deeper into the month of August. September is the most likely time for hurricanes and I'm sure many folks remember Floyd in 1999 and Isabel in 2003. Coastal residents of Carteret County also remember Ophelia just three years ago in September, 2005. We get a direct hit from a hurricane once every three to four years so some forecasters believe that another strike is likely this year or certainly within the next few years.