I tend to have a watchful eye on hurricanes because it dramatically effects my job. Moving to Bermuda however means they have become more than a news story, they now have become real life. Bermuda's 138 islands sit on a 100 million year-old volcanic basement in the Atlantic Ocean 640 miles from the nearest land mass and is warmed by the close by jet stream. It therefore has a bit of a target on it's head when it comes to tropical storms and sure enough the first one of the season is making it's way towards us.
This is not unusual as the island is a bit of a magnet for hurricanes when they first develop but invariably the miss-factor is very great and they tend to pass by just leaving Bermudians with some heavy rain showers. As my boss said this morning, the grass does need some water.Hurricane Bertha
(Arthur was a tropical storm and passed without any fuss over the Yucatan Peninsula in early June) formed off the Cape Verde islands and on Monday powered itself up to a Category 3 hurricane, i.e. with winds between 111 to 130mph, but it soon got downgraded to a Category 1 with sustainable winds of between 74 and 95mph.
Currently Bertha is about 600 miles south-east of us but the track (top right, click to make it bigger) does look like it's going to pass about 180 miles east of us around 5pm Saturday evening. The Bermuda Weather Service
has issued a local advisory but Bermuda normally attracts at least one 'near miss' each summer.
Only 4 hurricanes have caused severe damage to the country in the last 78 years, the most recent being Fabian
in 2003. Also formed near Cape Verde a portion of the eyewall passed over the west of Bermuda on September 5th killing four people and causing $300m of damage. Chicago was always a crazy place for weather with the nightly forecasts often lasting 15 minutes. Well, no snow, wind, heatwaves or tornadoes here, just the odd big Bertha.