What is a Bermuda High and how will it affect our weekend forecast?

Weather Blog

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Our forecast for this Friday and beyond is a rather tricky one as we rely on the placement of two key weather systems. Depending on which one wins over the other will dictate how rainy and how warm our weekend ends up being. Let’s discuss.

At the moment models are still about a 50/50 split with how things may end up playing out, but over the next 24 hours as higher resolution data comes in we should get a better idea of just how rainy our weekend and beyond will be. A big player in this weekend’s forecast comes from the influence of what’s called a Bermuda High.

What’s a Bermuda High?

The Bermuda High, also known as the Azores high is a semi-permanent, expansive area of high pressure that sits over the Atlantic ocean year round. As the seasons change this area of high pressure can shift, and from there it can highly dictate what type of weather we get.

This high pressure typically sits over the Atlantic ocean during our northern hemisphere summer as cooler ocean waters promote a sinking motion and clockwise flow. When this high is on the right side of us in Rochester, it can pump in warmth and humidity from the south, which means we get hot and humid quick. That’s what we have in store starting on Friday. If it’s located slightly more to the west closer to Bermuda, it can send warmth along with moisture in the form of storms to places like the Carolinas. 

The high also acts like a weather block, making it difficult for rain and stormy systems to move from the west to the east and into our region. Depending on how strong this high is, it can dominate our weather for prolonged periods of time, and if this occurs for too long it has the potential to create drought-like conditions and heat waves.

What’s Ahead?

In this case for our weekend, it’s possible this high is strong enough to keep things hot, muggy and even dry for parts of the weekend. The problem lies with the fact that this high isn’t the only cop in town…

Off to the west, a nearby frontal boundary will approach our region and sit stationary across parts of the Mississippi Valley starting Friday.  If this high pressure is strong enough to dominate our weather depending on where it sits , and in the case of our weekend forecast it’s fully possible it’s strong enough to provide dry weather through Saturday

Depending on how far east this boundary decides to park itself could mean a much more rainy weekend with cooler temperatures than currently being advertised. Our weekend forecast could still play out in a couple of ways, but here is where we stand:

Friday will be a mostly dry day. It will be hot and humid, but the likelihood of seeing rain is low and isolated if that. The most likely option here may be a mix of both warmth and rain come this weekend. Saturday as of this writing looks like the best day to see scattered showers and storms, while Sunday trends a bit drier as this frontal boundary wiggles back and forth. Once we get into next week the heat and humidity will stick around, but how much rain we see will depend on our pesky boundary, and the strength of our Bermuda High.

One thing is for sure, the humidity is going UP this weekend and into next week. Once we see dew points rise into the 60s and 70s, things start to get very “uncomfy” around here.

Buckle up and get ready for summer to settle in, because it sure will mean business heading into our last week of June. For more information about the forecast click HERE.

~Meteorologist Christine Gregory

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