Tropical Storm Cristobal tracking offshore, like Bertha

Tropical Storm Cristobal is following much the same path as Hurricane Bertha took, expected to stay well off the Atlantic coast as it heads north, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The storm was about 115 miles east-northeast of San Salvador island in the Bahamas and had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph as of 8 a.m. Monday. Cristobal is expected to slowly strengthen over the next couple of days, possibly reaching hurricane status, according to the hurricane center.

So far, the cyclone has taken a similar course as Bertha did at the beginning of the month, tracking through the Lesser Antilles, Hispaniola and the Bahamas before heading up north-northeastward well off the East Coast. Cristobal was heading north Monday and was expected to turn slightly toward the northeast, possibly brushing Bermuda but staying well clear of U.S. shores.

Like Bertha, however, Cristobal's impact could be felt on Maryland beaches as offshore cyclones can stir up dangerous rip currents and unusual tides. But Cristobal is forecast to be hundreds of miles east of the Delmarva by Thursday, further than Bertha was.

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