This NOAA satellite image taken Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 10:45 AM EDT shows widely scattered clouds across the Caribbean Basin. A cluster of clouds is present north of Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. A tropical wave is struggling to organize well east of the Lesser Antilles as it tracks westward. (AP Photo/Weather Underground)
MIAMI (AP) – Tropical Storm Bertha is making its way toward the Caribbean on Friday and could make landfall in Puerto Rico and the U.S. in the next few days.
Travel warnings have been issued in the U.S., the British Virgin Islands and other nearby islands.
The storm's maximum sustained winds early Friday are near 45 mph (75 kph) with no significant change in strength expected over the next two days.
In addition to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, tropical storm warnings are in effect for Babados, St. Lucia, Dominica, Vieques and Culebra. A tropical storm watch is in effect for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Bertha is centered about 170 miles (270 kilometers) east of Barbados and is moving west-northwest near 20 mph (31 kph).
The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Bertha is expected to pass near or north of Barbados Friday afternoon.