BERTHA making minor impact on north east Caribbean

Tropical storm BERTHA is centred 25 miles west-sou'west of Grand Turk Island, which it is likely to pass close to in the next hour. Sustained winds are estimated at 35 knots, so hardly a memorable or significant event really. Some slight strengthening is possible today, with more strengthening expected later in the week as the storm passes to the west of Bermuda when the smart money is on peak winds in excess of 65 knots. Now, that's a respectable blow. A gradual turn to the north is expected over the next couple of days, followed by a turn to the northeast thereafter. There is no threat to the east coast of the United States and BERTHA should pass offshore Newfoundland Thursday or Friday as it becomes extratropical, so only likely to bother fish and sailors.

A new disturbance piped up overnight close to the Bahamas - designated fifteen. Initially, I thought this might give BERTHA a leg up the catastrophe table, but it's little more than a weak trough which will amble north over the next few days. This could spark up in a day or two but, other than thunderstorms and squalls (and considerable rain) off the coast of North Carolina, will only produce a fish storm if it can be bothered at all. There is some busy frontal activity in this area, and at this time of the season, these often produce local conditions which encourage rapid local storm development.

A couple of observers have put disturbance fourteen back on the map. Remnants of this are scattered over a wide area some 600 miles north of the Amazon delta and moving west at 15 knots. I'd be surprised if this will be visible on aerial imagery tomorrow. I can barely see it today.

Weather watch in the north-east Caribbean and western sub-tropical Atlantic, otherwise stand easy.