Drought Intensifies Through March


March 2012 is positioned to be one of Bermuda’s driest. So far this month, the Bermuda Weather Service has recorded only 0.30″ of rain. With only 6 days left in March, and an average of just over an inch of rain per week in a typical year, it will be a close call as to the final total and whether or not a new record will be set.

The drought from last year only had a brief reprieve over the winter with few months with near average precipitation. However, any progress in the drought may have been erased by March’s impressive two week streak of precipitation free skies.

A massive blocking ridge of high pressure sat over the Western Atlantic and Eastern United States for much of the middle of the month. This not only brought thousands of record high temperatures to the United States and Canada, but also brought fairly average temperatures under clear or partly cloudy skies to Bermuda along with light winds and pleasant humidity for the most part.

My Personal Weather Station has only recorded 0.42″ of rain this month, boosted by isolated showers that missed the airport’s observation station (as of March 24th).

(NOAA GOES East Infrared Satellite Image)

Fortunately an approaching frontal system is expected to break this two week long pattern and push the high pressure to the side long enough for a cold front to bring some rain into next week, however, whether or not it will be enough to save us from record low march precipitation is uncertain. Forecasts range from between 0.4 and 1.8″ of rain through the end of March. Keeping in mind that we have only seen 0.3″ so far, and the record for March is 1.31″, this forecast suggests that the record is indeed threatened.

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