No one likes to be visited by a tropical system of any kind, but Bertha is providing much rain relief for an area that has been dealing with a drought for quite some time.
As of Saturday afternoon, Bertha seems more like a big blob of clouds and rain than a menacing tropical storm. It is poorly organized as it makes its way across the Mona Passage between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Top winds are steady at 50 mph.
Most of the activity has been relegated to the eastern side of the storm. If the center can thread the needle between Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, it may retain enough low level circulation for it to get a little stronger down the road, but that remains to be seen.
This is the latest from the NWS office in San Juan:
BERTHA WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE WEST-NORTHWEST ACROSS THE FORECAST AREA TODAY...PASSING JUST SOUTHWEST OF CABO ROJO THIS AFTERNOON.
RAINFALL TOTALS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES EXPECTED ACROSS THE LOCAL ISLANDS WITH ISOLATED AMOUNTS BETWEEN 5 TO 8 INCHES ACROSS PORTIONS OF EAST AND SOUTH PUERTO RICO.
ISOLATED TORNADOES WILL ALSO BE POSSIBLE OVER PUERTO RICO...THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS AND THE ADJACENT COASTAL WATERS TODAY ONCE THE WINDS SHIFT TO THE SOUTHEAST.
A Flash Flood warning is in effect for the entire island. All that rain may lead to some dangerous land and mudslides. If, no one ends up losing their life because of Bertha, it will be a gift from Mother Nature in the form of much needed water.
The Southeastern Bahamas will be the next stop on Bertha's itinerary. It should arrive with some gusty winds and more rain. This area is under a tropical storm warning while the Central Bahamas are under a tropical storm watch.
The front that brought South Florida all the heavy rain last week will provide a huge road block in the atmosphere that will keep Bertha out to sea. There is a chance it could become a hurricane by next week, but by then it will be far out in the Northern Atlantic.