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BREAKING WX 6:45PM 7-7-08 Bertha Strengthens to 115mph Category 3 Atlantic Hurricane
Monday, Jul 07, 2008 4:40pm
MIAMI. FL From CNN (By: Tom Pace, Talk of the Town) BREAKING WX: UPDATE 6:45pm 7-7-08  The Atlantic's first hurricane of the 2008 season has strengthened to a Category 3.  Hurricane Bertha is now packing winds of 115 mph, according to CNN.

At 5 p.m., Bertha was 730 miles (1,175 kilometers) east of the northern Leeward Islands and was moving west-northwest near 12 mph -- down from the morning's 15 mph.

Bermuda could be affected by the hurricane this weekend.

"It is still way too soon to determine whether or not Bertha will affect Bermuda," the center said.

There is a slight chance Bertha could make landfall in the United States.

"A gradual turn toward the northwest with a decrease in forward speed is expected over the next couple of days," the center said. See Bertha's projected path

Its maximum sustained winds were clocked at 115 mph, up from 90 mph earlier in the day.

A Category 3 storm has wind speeds of 111 mph to 130 mph.

The storm formed Thursday in the far eastern Atlantic, off the coast of Africa, near the southern Cape Verde Islands. It strengthened into a hurricane early Monday.

The first tropical storm of the season, Arthur, formed May 31 near the coast of Belize and dumped heavy rain on Central America and southern Mexico

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