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Hurricane Grace

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Hurricane Grace
Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS/NWS)
Satellite image of a relatively broad cyclone.
Hurricane Grace on October 28, 1991
FormedOctober 26, 1991
DissipatedOctober 29, 1991
Highest winds1-minute sustained: 100 mph (155 km/h)
Lowest pressure980 mbar (hPa); 28.94 inHg
FatalitiesNo fatalities reported
Areas affectedMinor effects on Bermuda
Part of the 1991 Atlantic hurricane season

Hurricane Grace was a Category 2 hurricane. It lasted only four days. It became part of another cyclone known as the Perfect Storm.

Grace formed on October 26. At first, it was a subtropical cyclone. This means it was partially tropical and partially extratropical. It became a full tropical cyclone on October 27. It later reached winds of 105 miles per hour (169 kilometres per hour). The storm had a little effect on the island of Bermuda when it passed to the south. Another storm to the north made Grace turn east. The hurricane combined with the large circulation of the other low pressure system.[1]

Meteorological history[change | change source]

Map of the western Atlantic Ocean depicting two storm tracks
The tracks of Hurricane Grace, bottom, and the nor'easter, top

Grace began as a low pressure area in the middle of the atmosphere. It formed on October 23 south of Bermuda. Reports from a ship said that it was in the lower atmosphere by October 25. At first, the storm was like a subtropical cyclone. There were not many thunderstorms around its center. (For a storm to gain strength, strong thunderstorms need to build around it.) The system started being called a subtropical storm on October 26. A separate area of clouds near Bermuda slowly became involved with this storm. There started to be thunderstorms near the center of the storm. Because of this, on October 27, the storm became a tropical storm and was named "Grace".[2]

Grace continued to get larger. Information from satellites gave measures of the storm's strength. Based on that and reconnaissance reports, Grace was changed to a Category 1 hurricane. That is the lowest level on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale.[3] The hurricane moved towards the northwest until an extratropical cyclone formed along a cold front on October 28. This storm quickly became stronger and very large. It eventually caused Grace to turn quickly to the east.[4] Around the same time, Grace began to have an eye.[5] Grace moved faster as it moved east. On October 29, it reached its highest strength. Its winds were at 100 miles per hour (161 kilometres per hour). Its minimum central barometric pressure was 980 mbar (hPa; 28.94 inHg). That made it a Category 2.[6] The center of the hurricane passed 50 miles (80 kilometres) south of Bermuda. Bermuda was not affected much.[3]

Hurricane Grace turned northeast later that day. The cold front quickly came and overtook it. After that, it was no longer a tropical system.[7] Grace moved north along the front. It combined with the large storm to the north.[4] By the next day, Grace could not be seen any more.[8]

Preparations and impact[change | change source]

Hurricane Grace being absorbed into the nor'easter

On October 27, a tropical storm warning was sent for Bermuda . The next day, the tropical storm warning was made into a hurricane warning. On October 29, the hurricane warning was lowered to a tropical storm warning. This was changed to a gale warning shortly after.[6][9] Bermuda had some rain and wind from the storm.[10] The rain reached 3.21 inches (82 millimetres).[11] However, no deaths or bad damage were reported.[7] A yacht, a type of boat, that was traveling from Bermuda to New York ran into strong winds and seas 25-foot (7.6-metre) high off the Virginia coast. The nine people on the boat had to be rescued by Coast Guard helicopters.[12][13]

Because of its large size, Grace caused large waves along the East Coast of the United States.[7] These waves reached at least 15 feet (4.6 metres) high. No bad property damage occurred. There was minor beach erosion. Carolina Beach, North Carolina lost about 1 foot (0.30 metres) of sand.[14]

The damage from Hurricane Grace was mostly small. Because the damage from the tropical cyclone was not very bad, the name "Grace" was not retired. It was reused during the 1997 Atlantic hurricane season.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Maa, Jerome P. Y. & David W. C. Wang (1995), "Wave Transformation Near Virginia Coast: the "Halloween" Northeaster", Journal of Coastal Research 11(4): 1258–1271
  2. Edward Rappaport (November 13, 1991). "Hurricane Grace Preliminary Report Page 1". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Edward Rappaport (November 13, 1991). "Hurricane Grace Preliminary Report Page 2". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Ingredients for a real 'perfect storm'". USA Today. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  5. Richard Pasch (October 28, 1991). "Hurricane Grace Discussion Number 5". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Edward Rappaport (November 13, 1991). "Hurricane Grace Preliminary Report Page 4". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Edward Rappaport (November 13, 1991). "Hurricane Grace Preliminary Report Page 3". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  8. National Climatic Data Center (November 13, 1991). "The Perfect Storm". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  9. Edward Rappaport (November 13, 1991). "Hurricane Grace Preliminary Report Page 7". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  10. Staff Writer (October 29, 1991). "Bermuda Braces for Brush with Hurricane Grace". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  11. David Roth. "Tropical Cyclone Rainfall". Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  12. Staff Writer (October 29, 1991). "Crew of New Bedford boat rescued; 13 others taken from yachts hit by Grace". Providence Journal. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  13. Staff Writer (October 30, 1991). "Grace Bypasses Bermuda, Heads Out Into the Atlantic". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  14. Staff Writer (October 29, 1991). "Hurricane Grace Kicks up Waves, Avoids N.C. Coast". Morning Star. Retrieved September 13, 2009.

Other websites[change | change source]

Tropical cyclones of the 1991 Atlantic hurricane season

Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale
TD TS C1 C2 C3 C4 C5