It’s still too soon to tell what Tropical Storm Bertha, which is holding steady at 50 mph and 1000 millibars of pressure, will do in the next few days. A look at the forecast, though, certainly will raise a few eyebrows along the Eastern Seaboard.
The track does look pretty ominous. Should you be getting ready? I don’t think it’s too early to start thinking about it, but it’s not time to panic, either. This forecast is really, really uncertain.
The variety of forecast models out there which try to predict storm movement have been disagreeing like the Hatfields and the McCoys. However, it seems as if more and more of the models are getting on board with a recurvature of Bertha as time goes on, though there are still a couple straggler models that keep it to the south. Dr. Jeff Masters at Weather Underground has an excellent writeup of what’s happening.
The forecast brings it to a minimal hurricane, but again, the state of the atmosphere is still so much in flux that a lot could change. A Cape Verde storm in the first week of July is uncharted territory for the Hurricane Center, so their confidence in their forecasts has been lower than most other times.
Is it time to panic? No way. It’s never time to panic. :) Is it time to prepare? Well, it’s always good to have some hurricane preparation done ahead of time. The storm is about a week away from approaching the coastline, if in fact it holds together and/or doesn’t recurve first. There’s plenty of time to be thinking and getting ready just in case Bertha should come knocking.