Gale Complex


westatlantic-radar-2013-03-07-0223A squally cold front (BWS radar image to the left) crossed the island in the wee hours of Thursday morning bringing gusts to 54mph to the airport and about a third of an inch of still much needed rain.  The front ushered in a very unsettled airmass with scattered, mainly light, showers and persistent gales.

The storm responsible for this weather is the same storm that brought Chicago’s heaviest snow of the season thus far, and at one point threatened to dump heavy snow on Washington, DC. Temperatures in the latter region remained safely above freezing as the snow fell, so snow totals didn’t quite reach their potential. Currently, a band of mainly moderate snow with some heavier patches lingers over New England.  This band is a ‘troughy’ extension to the winter storm’s low center that is stalled north of Bermuda.

rgb-l (1)As this storm (NOAA GOES recent satellite image to the right) interacts with an upper atmospheric short wave, this ‘troughy’ extension will try to wrap around the west side of the surface low’s center and head towards Bermuda. So after gales dropped to near gale status for a while this afternoon, they should pick back up sharply Saturday morning as the trough axis passes. This should come with a slight wind shift, from the present westerly gales, to a northwesterly flow. Additionally, the upper atmospheric disturbance carries with it colder air aloft and so an increase in shower and potentially thunderstorm activity should be expected – hail is a definite possibility with these showers. This, however, should be the storm’s last breath for Bermuda and winds will begin to wind down Saturday night, and should be below gale force by midday Sunday.

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