Rarely do hurricanes which start as storms off the African coast make it all the way across the Atlantic to the United States in the hurricane months of June and July. The last one to do so was Hurricane Bertha in 1996. Some of my blogging meteorologist colleagues began following a huge weather wave last week. (You can check out BobbiStorm’s Hurricane Harbor blog at http://hurricaneharbor.blogspot.com.) Yesterday, this storm, also named Bertha, went from a tropical storm to category one hurricane by 11 am EST, and then to a category three hurricane by 5 pm, with winds in excess of 100 miles per hour. Fortunately, it appears that the projected path is somewhere towards Bermuda — but you never know for sure with a hurricane this young and far away. We’ll know more today, when a hurricane hunter plane flies into the storm for the first time. Another storm wave is a couple days away from leaving the African coast. As the summer waters warm, they have to watched more closely. Bertha is strong and signals to me the start of a more classical hurricane formation from the African Coast. Buy your batteries and make certain your insurance is up-to-date. From now through October, everyone along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts needs to pay at least a little attention to the weather.