Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Hurricane Bertha heading north

I've been watching Hurricane Bertha throughout this week. All of the models have been converging on a northward path and the forecasts were predicting a turn to the north since around Tuesday night. Early in the week when Bertha increased intensity, she did turn suddenly northward just as the Weather Channel had predicted. Then just as quickly as she gained strength, she died down from a major Cat 3 to a Cat 1. Sea surface temperatures raised the intensity back to a Cat 2 and are such that she will probably maintain a Category 2 level of intensity until she reaches the colder waters north of Bermuda.

The thing that I have been watching is that even though all of the storm track predictions have shown a turn to the north, the historical track has remained in a WNW to NW direction. The predictions showed a turn but the historical showed the storm kept coming to the eastern US coast. I have always been limited in that I do not have access to a graphic that shows the atmospheric steering currents.

Well a major steering current came together yesterday that will ensure that Bertha heads north. A strong front is moving off the US east coast today and tomorrow that will push Bertha away from the US. Predictions are even showing that this storm may even be pushed east of Bermuda.

The cloud front is clear on teh AccuWeather graphic t the right but is even more apparent on the GEOS satellite image below. I originally thought that if Bertha stayed on a NW course that she could slip in under the weaker end of the front but this graphic clearly shows that even that is not possible.

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