Bertha became the second hurricane of the 2014 Atlantic season on Monday but poses no threat to land as it stays well out to sea, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
Hurricane Bertha was upgraded from a tropical storm when it was about 230 miles (370 km) east-northeast of Great Abaco Island in the northern Bahamas, the Miami-based NHC said. By 5 p.m. EDT, maximum sustained winds had slowed from 80 miles per hour (130 km per hour) to 75 mph (120 kph).
Bertha is moving north at about 18 mph (30 kph) and will pass midway between Bermuda and the U.S. East Coast on Tuesday, the Hurricane Center said in its early evening update on Monday. The storm then will accelerate as it heads northeast into the open Atlantic Ocean, the NHC said in a statement.
"There is no threat to land," said Richard Pasch, a senior hurricane specialist.
There could be concerns about Newfoundland but it is unclear if Bertha will still have characteristics of a tropical storm when it nears the Canadian province, he said.
The NHC statement said Bertha was expected to show little change in strength over the next 24 hours and to weaken starting late on Tuesday.
Bertha comes a month after Hurricane Arthur struck the North Carolina coast with little serious damage.
(Reporting by Koustav Samanta in Bangalore and Ian Simpson in Washington; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe, Bill Trott and Eric Walsh)