Weather Summary for December 2001
Tables | Graphs
A Mixed Bag
Apart from the lingering effects of Olga, early in the month, December 2001 followed the typical pattern with a succession of frontal systems crossing the Island, some of which produced quite boisterous conditions, including a notable squall, early on the 27th. There was only one brief spell of cold weather mid-month. Overall the month was rather warmer and dryer than normal.
December began fine, warm and humid with just a few isolated showers; the high of 77.6F on the 2nd equaling the record high for the day. Overnight on the 2nd into the 3rd, cloud associated with the still-active Tropical Storm Olga 400nm to the southwest, spread across the area and brought rain and overcast skies although wind dropped out to light. The rainfall total for the 3rd was just over 2.2 inches.
A weak cold front moved through just after dawn on the 4th, which brought a few showers but little wind. Then as the front moved away to the southeast, the cloud began to break to give a mix of sun and cloud. High pressure began to build in from the north during the 5th, as the remains of Olga slipped away to the south and the influence of that high, brought mainly dry and sunny weather right through to the 9th. Warm and humid air spread up from the southwest over weekend of 8th/9th, bringing a few spots of light rain at times.
A cold front eventually arrived late in the night of the 9th/10th. This brought a period of stronger winds and some moderate rain for a time. Although the rain cleared by dawn, it remained cloudy throughout the day, with cool, blustery northeasterly winds. Winds decreased on the 11th, although it remained mostly cloudy. The front remained just to the south, with a high pressure area moving east, just to the north of Bermuda. This brought a shift in the winds to a warmer southwesterly airflow by the 12th. However, a small low pressure area developed on the front to the west of the Island, with showery weather moving in from the southwest, clearing on the 13th.
Warm, humid southwesterly winds persisted on the 14th, with further showers on Saturday, the 15th. Winds increased that evening ahead of a cold front, with some overnight rain, clearing by dawn. Cool, blustery, northerly winds set in on the 16th, with mainly cloudy skies and a few light showers. Cloudy conditions persisted on the 17th, with winds decreasing as a weak ridge moved in from the west. The 18th morning was fairly bright, but wind and cloud increased during the day as a further cold front moved off the US east coast. By evening, there were outbreaks of showery rain and the southwesterly winds increased to gale force, with gusts to 48 knots (51kt. at North Rock) as a squall line passed through. The front cleared overnight, with a return to mainly sunny weather on the 19th, tempered by cool northwesterly winds.
A ridge of high pressure gave a fine night with light winds, but by dawn of the 20th, cloud was increasing again, with winds picking up from the southwest, as a further front moved in from the west, giving a few showers during the evening. As the associated low deepened and moved slowly east over the Maritimes, strengthening north to northwest winds brought chilly Arctic air southwards, over the west Atlantic. Winds increased to gale force later on the 21st with blustery showers and gusts up to 45 kt. at the airport, during the evening. Mainly cloudy weather, with occasional light showers, continued over the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd. The daytime high only struggled into the low 60's on the Saturday, with the strong to gale northwesterly winds making it feel especially cold.
Winds decreased rapidly as a ridge of high pressure moved quickly across the Island overnight on the 23rd. The 24th became increasingly cloudy as a frontal system moved off the US east coast. The cold front crossed the Island early on the 25th, as a weak feature, giving a few light showers. The remainder of Christmas Day was sunny and quite warm. In contrast, Boxing Day was cloudy and increasingly windy, with intermittent light rain, as a frontal low developed east of Florida and moved quickly northeast over the Gulf Stream. By evening, the southwesterly winds had reached gale force and increased further with the passage of the cold front, around 2am on the 27th, accompanied by squally showers. Sustained winds of 40 kt. with gusts to 54 kt. were recorded at the airport. North Rock automatic station recorded 42 kt. with gusts of 64 kt. Harbour Radio (270 ft amsl.) reported an amazing 58-64 kt. gusting to 74 kt. - i.e. up to Force 12 or marginal Hurricane strength. Strong to gale northwesterly winds set in behind the front decreasing slowly through the day, with occasional squally showers.
The 28th was mostly cloudy with isolated showers and moderate westerly winds. Saturday 29th morning was warm and sunny, but a weak front gave squally showers in the afternoon. Overnight winds increased to near gale force ahead of yet another front. Showers cleared during the morning, with winds decreasing, to give a pleasant, sunny day, although further cloud with the odd shower spread in later. The final day of the year was partly cloudy, but dry with light to moderate northwesterly winds.
MAXIMUM MEAN WIND (2 min.)
DAYS WITH THUNDER
SUNSHINE DURATION (Hours)
Data Source: The Bermuda Weather Service