Bertha developed an eye overnight and was upgraded to hurricane strength this morning. The gradual but persistent intensification over the past several days will likely continue for another 72 hours until Bertha reaches cooler waters and less hospitable atmospheric shear.
The storm is forecast to recurve out to sea and not bother land.
July hurricanes in the far Atlantic basin are rare. However, coincidentally, in 1996, Hurricane Bertha developed on July 7 as well and made landfall in North Carolina. Bertha tracked further south and encountered much warmer water allowing it to intensify to major hurricane status.
Bertha 1996 (wikipedia.org track)
There is no evidence and no one can make a scientifically honest statement that this storm’s strength is in any way related to global warming. Yet, it bears watching how the media and political scientists/opportunists will interpret this natural event.