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Aug 4 (Reuters) - Bertha became the second hurricane of the 2014 Atlantic season on Monday and is forecast to pass between the U.S. East Coast and Bermuda, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
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 NHC said. Maximum sustained winds were 80 miles per hour (130 km per hour).
"On the forecast track, Bertha will continue to move away from the Bahamas today and pass about midway between the U.S. East Coast and Bermuda on Tuesday," the Miami-based weather forecasters said in a statement.
Bertha is moving north at about 17 mph (27 kph). It is expected to turn to the north-northeast and the northeast over the next 48 hours with increasing forward speed, it said.
Bertha is expected to have little change in strength over the next 24 hours and to weaken starting late on Tuesday, the NHC said.
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 and Bill Trott)