Hurricane Bertha has formed in the Atlantic off the U.S. East Coast but isn't expected to be a threat to land.
The second hurricane of the Atlantic season had maximum sustained winds near 80 mph (130 kph) with little change expected in the next 24 hours. It was forecast to start weakening Tuesday.
The hurricane is centered about 230 miles (370 kilometers) northeast of Great Abaco Island and is moving north near 17 mph (28 kph).
The storm brushed the Turks and Caicos Islands and southeastern Bahamas over the weekend as a tropical storm.
The current forecast map predicts that the center of the storm will stay offshore through Thursday.
Tropical Storm Bertha continued on its path north Sunday, blowing through the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The storm brought rain and strong winds as it moved from the Turks and Caicos Islands in the morning to the southeastern Bahamas in the afternoon. The southeastern Bahamas experienced 20 to 30 miles per hour winds and heavy rain on Sunday, said Richard Pasch, a senior hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami-Dade.
By Sunday afternoon, the bulk of the storm had passed over the islands and was centered in the Atlantic Ocean. Winds over the Atlantic blew at an estimated 45 miles per hour said Daniel Brown, also a senior hurricane specialist for the National Hurricane Center in Miami-Dade.
At 5 p.m. Sunday, a tropical storm warning was lifted and all that remained for the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands were a few lingering showers, Brown said.
“The worst of the event has passed,” he said.
Tropical Storm Bertha is projected to continue curving north and away from the U.S. coastline. Although the coast is clear, forecasters are keeping an eye on Bertha in case the storm takes an unexpected turn toward land, Brown said.
South Florida won’t feel the effects of the storm. But plenty of rain is expected in the region over the next few days.
The wet weather is the result of an area of low pressure unrelated to the tropical storm, said Chuck Caracozza, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Miami-Dade.
South Florida should expect an inch and a half to two inches of rain through Wednesday in summer thunderstorm fashion, Caracozza said.
“It’s going to be wetter than normal,” Caracozza said.