Tropical storm Bertha forecast

Tropical Storm Bertha is expected to move through the Caribbean and then turn toward the Atlantic. (National Hurricane Center / August 1, 2014)

Tropical Storm Bertha formed late Thursday night, forecast to be headed toward the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas, but not U.S. shores.

The storm was about 110 miles east-northeast of Barbados as of 8 a.m., with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. Tropical storm warnings were in effect from Barbados to the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

The center forecasts the storm will continue to move northwest until it reaches the Bahamas some time early Monday, before turning back toward the northeast, away from the U.S. Atlantic coast.

Bertha is not forecast to reach hurricane status, which requires maximum sustained winds of at least 74 mph.

Hurricane hunter aircraft were slated to explore the storm system Friday morning.

The storm is right on time as far as typical Atlantic tropical cyclone climatology dictates. The season's second named storm typically forms by Aug. 1, according to the hurricane center.