A late March gale


Screen Shot 2014-03-22 at 3.58.46 PM
AQUA MODIS imagery centered on Bermuda March 19th 2014 showing the low pressure center responsible for Wednesday’s gales and showers departing off to the northeast.

Last Wednesday, March 19th, a strong cold front approached from the northwest and passed in the morning.  Immediately behind this front, strong west-southwesterly winds briefly reached gale force in and around post frontal showers. Winds officially reached 34kts with peak gusts to 45kts at the airport. Generally, less than 0.20″ of rain fell island-wide.

High pressure quickly slid in behind the front Wednesday afternoon, allowing winds to quickly diminish. As high pressure approached from the west, winds veered from west-southwest through to northeast by early Thursday morning. This high pressure center, continued past the island on Tuesday allowing light winds to continue to veer through to south-east and then south by Thursday afternoon. Winds then began to pick up as the high pressure continued off to the east of Bermuda and another weak frontal system approached from the west. Warmer air moved in on these southerly winds Thursday allowing temperatures to recover to the low 70s, despite the cold air behind Wedensday’s front keeping Wednesday’s temperatures in the mid 60s.

AQUA MODIS March 20th showing clearer, more settled weather under high pressure in Bermuda. Friday's cold front can be seen approaching in the top left part of the shot.
AQUA MODIS March 20th showing clearer, more settled weather under higher pressure in Bermuda on Thursday. Friday’s cold front can be seen approaching in the top left part of the shot as a band of clouds.

Southerly to southwesterly winds picked up, increasing to moderate Friday morning as another weaker front neared. This front brought mainly  light rain showers to the island Friday morning into early afternoon as it passed. Behind the front, Friday afternoon, winds had shifted to the north-northwest and remained moderate. Despite the frontal passage, temperatures still made it to the low 70s Friday afternoon, and skies cleared up significantly allowing for a fair evening as the weak front continued to the southeast and high pressure built in overhead.

Now, cooler air has settled in behind the front, and significant high cirrus cloud, far in advance of the next frontal system, is keeping skies mostly cloudy. Surface high pressure nearly overhead, continues to control today’s weather, keeping it dry. Northeasterly to easterly winds should remain light-moderate, but shift to the southeast and then south through the evening and into tonight as high pressure moves off to the east of Bermuda. This southerly flow should allow temperatures to get back above average with an increase in humidity. Along with an increase in humidity, convergence in the southerly flow should allow for some isolated showers on Sunday, still ahead of the next cold front.

By overnight Sunday, southerly winds briefly increase to strong and scattered shower associated with the cold front  start to impact the island. By early Monday morning, Bermuda is behind the front and winds have shifted to the northwest and remain moderate-strong. Some isolated light showers are possible behind this front on Monday with, again, below normal temperatures.

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