Hurricane Gonzalo Part 2: Bermuda Landfall

2 11 2014

After passing the NDBC Buoy 41046, Hurricane Gonzalo moved to the NW and eventually was forced to go NE due to the strong cold front pushing it to head straight towards Bermuda.  This is where the 2nd and final installment of the Hurricane Gonzalo blog begins.  By the time Gonzalo was passing over Bermuda it was weakening and only had winds of 115 MPH.  Still a powerful storm, the National Ocean Service station and NWS/FAA station in Bermuda captured some excellent data as Gonzalo was making its arrival on and departure from the island.

The barometer shows the lowest pressure was 952.3 millibars that occurred twice.  One was at 0036Z and the other 0048Z (7:36 PM and 7:48 PM CDT).  In this time is when the center of Hurricane Gonzalo was passing over the island.  The air temperature during this time was slowly increasing before the rain on the other side of the storm cooled it off again so there were not any significant signature changes noted in the air temperature to show of some natural phenomenon occurring like another eyewall replacement.


The barometric pressure below is from a NWS/FAA weather station TXKF that observed a minimum pressure of 952.7 millibars at about 0055Z (7:55 PM CDT).  Slightly higher than at the NOS station on the island.  You may notice some missing data in the graph below and that is due to power issues that was going on during the storm.


Now we look at the winds.  Looking pretty crazy and clearly shows when the eye approaches, passes, and leaves.  The winds are much stronger on the southwestern side of the storm where peak gusts of 89 MPH were reported.  When the eye was passing over the winds were very light with constant winds of 3 MPH.  The time of the weakest winds were at 0042Z (7:42 PM CDT).  The winds at the NWS/FAA weather station were about 11 MPH near the eye of the storm.  The NWS weather station also reported a max wind gust of 112 MPH as the southwestern portion of the storm was passing over!  The reason why you see such a large difference in wind speeds between the two stations is because of their location.  The NWS weather station is more exposed and can capture the wind speed better while the NOS weather station is a little more sheltered causing the winds to report lower.  You can see the winds at the NWS weather station below the NOS station.



Finally, the graph below from the NOS station really show the disruption in the tide.  As the storm was occurring you can see tide reached about 3 feet before fluctuating from 2.25 feet to 3 feet.  There was one occasion where the tide reached 3.25 feet which occurred at 0254Z (9:54 PM CDT).  As the storm was leaving, you can see the tide going back down to its typical pattern.




This is so far the most powerful storm of the year and will most likely be the most powerful storm since the hurricane is now officially over with.  There was more good than bad out of this storm.  The bad was the destruction that it caused in Bermuda.  The good was that it went over 3 weather observing stations where we can learn more about it and there were no fatalities during its tropical system state.  However, there were some fatalities in the United Kingdom as it passed through it as an extra-tropical system due to strong tropical storm force winds causing trees to fall and flooding.