Tropical Storm Bertha expected to become a typhoon

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Tropical Storm Bertha has intensified slightly since the last update, and has entered the Eastern Caribbean Sea. The storm is expected to strike Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic at this intensity, and then move onto the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

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Bertha will continue to race from the Caribbean to the southeastern Bahamas through this weekend before bypassing the east coast of the United States early next week.

While Bertha is expected to remain a tropical storm through Monday, a window will open up on Tuesday for it to intensify into a Category 1 hurricane.

Disruptions from Bertha will tend to be brief over the Caribbean islands to the southeastern Bahamas.

While the rainfall from Bertha will bring a risk of flash flooding and mudslides to the islands, it will also bring needed rainfall. Many of the islands in the path of Bertha, especially those from the British Virgin Islands to Hispaniola, are experiencing significant drought. A general one to three inches of rain is forecast in the vicinity of Bertha, but local amounts of six inches are possible. That is especially true along the slopes of the mountains.

Impacts from the rather swift-moving storm will spread from the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Saturday to the Dominican Republic on Saturday night, then the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas on Sunday.