A semi-permanent high is sitting off the coast…

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Do you ever wonder why hurricanes typically impact the Eastern US when they originate so far away from us? What about the reasoning behind afternoon summer storms?

Well to help answer those questions, lets take a look at one contributing factor called the Bermuda High. The Bermuda High, which is a semi-permanent pressure system, is located off the east coast of the United States in the Atlantic Ocean. It is also known as the Bermuda-Azores High because of the placement during the summer and winter months. During the summer months, the Bermuda High (pictured below) moves west across the Atlantic Ocean towards Bermuda,  channeling the warm moist air from the tropics, causing humidity and instability in the atmosphere which can lead to those summer storms you see.

Not only does the Bermuda High bring warm, moist air to the region, it also helps push warm water up along the east coast of the US. This results in a strong Gulf Stream Current, which can sometimes prove troublesome for boaters. The warm water acts as a path for hurricanes. The Bermuda High helps to guide them toward the Eastern coast of the US and back out to sea as the tropical system progresses northward. Below is the typical tracks for tropical systems in the Atlantic. Can you see the impact of the Bermuda High?

So what happens to the Bermuda High when summer is over? The Bermuda high moves back eastward into the Atlantic Ocean toward the Azores Islands. This movement combined with other factors allows the jet stream to dip further south. When the jet stream dips further south, it brings in some colder temperatures and possible winter weather, that also can prove to be troublesome if you’re not prepared for it.

~ Meteorologist Candice Boling with assistance from First Alert Weather Intern James Wheaton

{Information and photo courtesy: http://www.almanac.com/blog/weather-blog/steering-hurricanes-mysterious-bermuda-high, www.meted.ucar.edu }

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