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Hurricane Bertha to Miss U.S. East; Iselle Aims at Hawaii

Hurricane Bertha
This image of Hurricane Bertha, then a tropical storm, was taken on August 1, 2014. Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via Bloomberg

Hurricane Bertha will miss the U.S. East Coast as it moves north toward Canada, while in the Pacific, Hurricane Iselle’s strength will wane as the system bears down on Hawaii.

Bertha, with winds of 75 miles (120 kilometers) per hour, compared with 80 mph earlier, was about 560 miles west-southwest of Bermuda at 5 p.m. New York time and moving north at 18 mph, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

“Bertha will continue moving north today before taking a turn to the northeast, missing the Eastern Seaboard of the United States,” said Paul Walker, a meteorologist at AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. “It’s going to be a threat, however, for some of the far eastern provinces of Canada.”

Bertha is the second hurricane of the Atlantic season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. The basin usually produces its second storm of that strength by Aug. 28, according to the hurricane center.

A hurricane hunter aircraft is currently flying through the storm, and there’s a possibility Bertha won’t be able to maintain its strength as it moves north, the center said.

Bertha’s Track

The system is expected to pass between Bermuda and the U.S. East Coast, which will be protected by a weather front. Bertha may graze eastern Newfoundland later this week, Environment Canada said in a statement.

In the Pacific, Iselle had top winds of 140 mph, making it a Category 4 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, the center said. It was about 1,190 miles from Hilo, Hawaii, moving west at 10 mph.

Iselle will weaken substantially before it gets to the Hawaiian Islands later this week, Walker said. The major hurricane will pass through a long stretch of cooler water, which will sap it of its strength.

“The remains of it will get to Hawaii Thursday to Thursday night, and it will increase showers across the islands,” he said. “It could still be a tropical storm, but more than likely not.”

The hurricane center forecast calls for Iselle to be a tropical storm when it reaches Hawaii.

To the east of Iselle, Tropical Storm Julio’s top winds grew to 60 mph from 45 mph earlier. It was 1,005 miles southwest of the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula and moving west at 16 mph, the center said.

Julio may reach hurricane strength tomorrow, with winds of at least 74 mph.

Long-range forecasting models “have been consistently predicting that Julio will pass very close to Hawaii on Sunday night and be stronger than Iselle,” Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground in Ann Arbor, Michigan, said in his blog.

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