EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA -

As of 8:00am, the center of Tropical Storm Bertha was located near latitude 26.1 north, longitude 73.6 west. Bertha is moving toward the north near 16 mph and this general motion is expected to continue today, followed by a gradual turn toward the north-northeast and northeast during the next 48 hours. On the forecast track Bertha will continue to move away from the Bahamas today and pass about midway between the U.S. east coast and Bermuda on Tuesday.

Reports from a NOAA hurricane hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 70 mph with higher gusts.  Additional strengthening is expected during the next day or so and Bertha is forecast to become a hurricane later today.  Slow weakening is expected to begin by late Tuesday.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles...260 km from the center.

Data from the NOAA aircraft indicate that the minimum central Pressure is 999 mb, 29.50 inches.

The only impact we will see here in Eastern North Carolina will be with a Small Craft Advisory through Tuesday evening.

Long period swells from Tropical Storm Bertha will begin to Impact the waters this afternoon and tonight with elevated seas. Long period swells will begin affecting the coastal waters late this afternoon continuing tonight through Tuesday night. Seas are expected to build to 6 ft or higher south of Ocracoke this evening and just after midnight for the coastal waters from Ocracoke north.

Seas will peak around 8 ft on Tuesday morning across the southern and central coastal waters. Small craft conditions for elevated seas will continue through Tuesday night.