WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

As a child I remember "Bermuda Highs" being a domninant feature of summer weather here. Are these weather features normally associated with extremely dry periods? How have these weather periods in the past related to this one with regard to drought?

Posted September 5, 2007 12:02 p.m. EDT

MIKE MOSS SAYS:     Joseph,     The Bermuda high is the westward extension of a large semi-permanent high pressure ridge over the north Atlantic ocean, and usually is centered between 25 and 35 degrees north. It plays several significant roles in modulating weather conditions over NC, and in steering many of our tropical disturbances as well. The Bermuda High itself is not a reason for drought per se, but is one component in larger scale trends that play a part in how much rainfall we receive compared to "normal." A typical summertime pattern features the axis of the Bermuda high positioned a little to our south and east, where we end up with a broad southwest flow that leaves us hot (but not extremely so) and humid, with a chance of isolated to scattered showers and thunderstorms on many afternoons. The hit and miss nature of these storms tends to average out over time, usually with a remnant or two from tropical systems that produce more widespread coverage making up to some extent  for otherwise dry stretches through the warm season.