Hurricane Bertha made landfall as a category 2 storm on July 12, 1996 near Wilmington, North Carolina. Bertha's path up the U.S. east coast impacted states from South Carolina to Maine. On its passage north through the U.S. Virgin Islands, an estimated 2500 homes were damaged. The estimate of homes damaged on the U.S. mainland was 5000 and the cost of the damage was estimated at $270 million. Bertha was responsible for eight deaths. Close to three-quarters of a million people were evacuated from coastal areas lying within Bertha's predicted strike zone.
Hurricane Bertha evidently increased the coastal water turbidity from South Carolina to Virginia as seen in the after image. The largest changes are concentrated in the northern areas of Long and Onslow bays with very large changes associated with the capes including Cape Hatteras, North Carolina to the north. The large turbidity plumes emanating from the cape areas could be associated with resuspended sediments from shallow shoals as well as sediments generated from beach erosion due to the severe storm conditions. In this respect the turbidity difference image for Bertha is very similar to that of hurricane Fran a few weeks later although the overall effect of Fran was greater.
The SST difference image depicts an overall cooling in most areas. However a region of warming is seen in the vicinity of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina perhaps due to a onshore displacement of warm Gulf Stream waters.