Bermuda High and Hurricanes

Many summer cruisers keep a close watch on hurricane tracking. Just what is the Bermuda High, and how does it affect hurricane formation and movement?

In essence, the Bermuda High is simply a relatively stationary high pressure block that hangs out in the middle Atlantic, generally near and below Bermuda. Think of it as a large round bumper, from a pinball machine. It acts as sort of a "no man's land" for hurricanes. Hurricanes do not like to go into this high pressure area.

The hurricane generally is trying to move northwest, and runs into this bumper. The hurricane is blocked from going north. Instead, it moves along the southern / bottom edge of the Bermuda High, from east to west. It is still trying to move north as well but is being blocked.

When the hurricane reaches the western edge of the high, it is now able to move northwards. So depending on where the Bermuda High is located in a given year, it helps to control how the storms are "launched" towards the US coastline.

If you're going on a cruise in the Atlantic between June and November, be sure to keep your eye on the hurricane forecast and take into account where the Bermuda High is located. It can help you prepare for what raingear to bring along!

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