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Four things to know about Hurricane Bertha

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Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Monday, August 4, 2014, 9:23 AM - Tropical Storm Bertha reached hurricane status Monday morning, and is slowly approaching Canadian waters.

While not expected to have the same impact as Tropical Storm Arthur last month, people in Atlantic Canada should still be prepared.

Here are four key things to know about this storm as it stands.

How strong could it be?

Bertha was packing winds in excess of 130 km/h early Monday morning, as it slowly made its way north of the Bahamas.


The National Hurricane Centre in the United States says the storm is expected to keep strengthening Monday, and it reached full-fledged Category 1 hurricane status late morning. It is the first time since 1992 that the first two named storms of the season have achieved hurricane status.

However, that's as strong as the storm is expected to get, and it should begin to weaken slowly by Tuesday. By the time it reaches Canadian waters, it should have returned to tropical storm status, possibly being considered post-tropical by the time it begins to impact Newfoundland.

When will in reach Canada?

Weather Network meteorologist Brett Soderholm says Bertha will begin affecting Nova Scotia on Wednesday.

"Current models indicate the the majority of the system should stay east of the Nova Scotia shores," he said Monday morning. "Simultaneously, current models are indicating this storm should reach the Avalon by Thursday night."


What impact will it have?

Although it is not currently slated to make actual landfall in the Maritimes, Soderholm says people should still be on guard.

"Strong winds and high waves will certainly still have an impact for Nova Scotia," he says.

Although likely weaker by the time it begins to affect Newfoundland, it won't be a calm day.

"Heavy precipitation, strong winds and high waves are all concerns, despite it likely having a post-tropical designation at this time," he said.

The storm made itself felt earlier in the Caribbean, where strong winds and downpours hit Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos, the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas.

Some structural damage was reported, and dozens of families had to be evacuated as rivers threatened to burst their banks.

WATCH: Bertha lashes Puerto Rico

Are any warnings in effect?

There are currently no watches or warnings in effect in Atlantic Canada at this time, but the Canadian Hurricane Centre has issued a tropical cyclone statement for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

"It is a bit early to to know if this will affect land but generally speaking, offshore-tracking tropical storms often send waves to the coasts of southern Nova Scotia and Newfoundland," the centre said in a statement Monday morning. "If they track not too far offshore, land areas can be hit with heavy rains. A few of the models are showing possible heavy rainfall for eastern parts of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, Wednesday/Thursday timeframe."


TUNE IN: Watch the Weather Network on TV for updates on Bertha as the storm approaches. If it's safe to do so, upload your pictures and videos here.


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