pacific high weather

The Pacific High is a semi-permanent, subtropical high-pressure system located in the northeastern Pacific Ocean, typically centered around 30°-40°N and 140°-150°W. It is part of the subtropical ridge belt of high pressure systems. Here are some key points about the Pacific High and its influence on weather:
  • It is strongest during the northern hemisphere summer and shifts southward towards the equator during winter when the Aleutian Low becomes more active.
  • It is responsible for California's typically dry summers and falls, as well as Hawaii's year-round trade winds.
  • Its position and strength can vary considerably from year to year, impacting wind patterns along the West Coast. When it extends further west as a ridge, it can enhance northwest winds along the California/Baja coast.
  • During the 2011-2017 California drought, the Pacific High persisted longer than usual due to warm Pacific Ocean temperatures, limiting rainfall in California.
  • In winter, the Pacific High often shrinks and moves closer to Baja California, combining with winds from the Great Basin to create gusty conditions on the East Cape region.
  • Its surface northwest winds filtering through gaps can also impact wind patterns on the East Cape, pushing away northerly winds at times.
So in summary, the Pacific High's position, strength and interaction with other systems greatly influences wind patterns and precipitation/drought conditions along the West Coast and Baja California.
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