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    Weekly Wrap-Up: Tornadoes Strike Metro Areas, Bertha Forms in Atlantic

    By By Michael Kuhne, AccuWeather.Com Staff Writer
    August 04, 2014, 5:45:18 AM EDT

    While flooding rainfall and cool air swept across portions of the Midwest and eastern half of the United States, wildfires continued to rage in the West. Meanwhile, a tropical depression slowly strengthened, eventually giving rise to Tropical Storm Bertha late in the week.

    To kick off the final week of July, an autumn-like chill descended across much of the Midwest and eastern United States, while a slow-moving storm system persisted, bringing flooding downpours to portions of the drought-stricken Plains.

    Severe thunderstorms also blasted through areas across the U.S. early this week, bringing tornadoes to the Midwest, South and even New England.

    New England was the site for two tornadoes between Sunday and Monday. An EF-0 tornado touched down in Wolcott, Connecticut.

    A severe thunderstorm blasted through Revere, Massachusetts, near Boston, spawning an EF-2 tornado Monday.


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    Also on Monday, two tornadoes spun up near Denver, Colorado. One of the tornadoes touched down near the airport, forcing passengers to take shelter until the threat had passed.

    In addition to severe storms, cool air persisted across the Midwest and East.

    In portions of Pennsylvania and New York state, high temperatures sunk into the 60s Monday and Tuesday. A record low of 59 F was set at Atlanta on Wednesday morning, breaking the old record of 61 F set in 1936. Another record was shattered in Birmingham, Alabama, when temperatures slid to 57 F, below the record low of 61 F set in 1994.

    Meanwhile, in the West, wildfires continued to rage in parts of the Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada foothills. One fire began July 25 after a vehicle went into dry vegetation east of Highway 49, 5 miles north of Plymouth in Amador County. It has destroyed at least 60 structures.


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    As of Friday morning, it has grown to about 4,240 acres since its start and is 95 percent contained. A crew of 857 fire personnel were battling the blaze, CalFire said, down from the 1,900 who were working at the start of the fire.

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    A separate blaze, the El Portal fire, in the Yosemite National Park has consumed at least 3900 acres with 34 percent containment, forcing the evacuations around Foresta, California.

    In the southern portion of the Atlantic in Florida and gulf area, warm sea waters increased the risk of a deadly flesh-eating bacteria and a toxic, fish-killing algae growth, red tide.


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    A type of potentially toxic algae, Karenia brevis, known as "red tide" is blanketing an area roughly the size of Connecticut in the northeastern part of the Gulf of Mexico, killing massive numbers of fish.

    One person from Sarasota County, Florida, has died, due to a deadly, flesh-eating bacteria, Vibrio vulnificus.

    Also, in the Atlantic a tropical depression continued to strengthen throughout the week, giving rise to Tropical Storm Bertha late Thursday night.


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    Bertha is forecast to move along a curved path near the islands in the northeastern Caribbean, just east of the Bahamas and then northeastward off the U.S. Atlantic coast.

    While Bertha is expected to remain a relatively weak tropical system, the storm’s strength will fluctuate, bringing heavy rain and gusty winds to part of the Caribbean through the weekend.

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