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Buffeted by high winds and it’s not over yet

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Gale-force winds, sometimes becoming as strong as storm force, hit Bermuda nine times during a four-week period in January and February — and the heavy weather is not over yet.

Meteorologist Jeff Torgerson at the Bermuda Weather Service (BWS) said the period, which also featured heavy rainfall and cold temperatures, began during the last week of January and continued through February.

He added that there is the potential for more windy, rainy and cold conditions to pass over Bermuda during March and into April.

The winters of 2013 and 2014 were less severe, the meteorologist explained. “But 2012 was cold and windy. We're back this year in full force.”

The meteorologist also confirmed that rainfall has been higher than normal. While rain during February did not set a record, there was almost twice as much as the average for the month. Mr Torgerson said that 9.15 inches fell — more than four inches higher than the normal figure of 5.01 inches. The February record was set in 1972, when 9.79 inches fell.

“We are pushing close to ten inches for winter records,” he said.

The rainfall has resulted in multiple episodes of flooding in Bermuda's lowest-lying regions, including the commercially important Mills Creek and Bakery Lane areas. January, by contrast, was a dry month with 4.04 inches of rain — 1.25 inches below the 5.30 that is normal for the period. The record was set for January more than half a century ago, in 1958, when 9.86 inches of rain fell.

Year to date, Bermuda has seen above-average rain for the period with a total of 13.19 inches. “That is quite a bit above normal,” Mr Torgerson said. The average total for the period would be 10.31 inches.

Temperatures have been cool, with Bermuda's mean low for February recorded at 56.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

The coldest day of the month was February 7, when temperatures dropped to 51.8. January 31 was also 51.8 and the coldest day for that month. During February the mercury has not climbed above 75 degrees Fahrenheit, reaching just 74.3 on Friday. January temperatures climbed a bit higher, reaching 76.3 on January 5.

Bermuda has been receiving the tail-end of the cold, snowy winter systems that the United States East Coast has experienced as they pass to the Island's north.

These weather systems, he explained, have given Bermuda the recent wet and windy weather, along with some low pressure fronts that move off Florida. While Bermuda has had a short reprieve, the Island will see the next system pass through as early as this evening. According to forecasts, winds will pick up.

Flooding Barnards Park. (Photo by Akil Simmons)
Bakery Lane Flooding. (Photo by Akil Simmons)

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Published March 02, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated March 02, 2015 at 2:05 pm)

Buffeted by high winds and it’s not over yet

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