2 Rounds of Severe Thunderstorms

westatlantic-radar-2013-03-21-1323 The first full day of spring brought with it an approaching storm system. The associated cold front developed into a severe squall line with a few discrete supercell thunderstorms out ahead. While the super cell thunderstorms missed the island, the squall line crossed the island around noon on the 21st bringing isolated gusts approaching 70mph and much needed heavy rains. 65mph in Commissioner’s Point, 63mph at Fort Prospect, 68mph at St. David’s Lighthouse, and 59mph at the airport.

As the cold front continued off to the east of Bermuda, there was a marked cool down with a brief period of westerly gales and post frontal showers that remained on the light side. A part of this front stalled to the south of the island as another system approached.

westatlantic-radar-2013-03-24-2243 That same front lifted northwards as a warm front a few days later and easterly winds ensued in advance of this warm front. Patchy generally light to moderate rains changed to steady moderate rain as the warm front crossed the island. Winds shifted from their easterly direction to a southerly/southwesterly direction as the warm front passed. Stalling to our near north, rain continued with the warm front despite its passage. These warm advecting southerly winds increased to gale force as a trough approached from the west and temperatures increased to near 70F. Showers and thunderstorms associated with the trough began before midnight and brought further isolated gusts that surpassed severe limits. 66mph at Commissioner’s Point and 63mph at Fort Prospect.

The island is currently is an expansive cold sector behind this system and has been effected by a series of weak troughs that are keeping a strong westerly flow with widely scattered showers in the picture and temperatures 5-8 degrees below average. These conditions are set to continue through Easter. Combined, these two systems have brought over two inches of rain to Bermuda. Although these recent rains have brought the year-to-date precipitation to near normal levels, long term hydrological impacts from previous dry years will continue.


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