1991 Atlantic hurricane season

From Academic Kids

The 1991 Atlantic hurricane season was an ongoing event in the annual cycle of tropical cyclone formation. It officially started June 1, 1991, and lasted until November 30, 1991.

Only one 1991 storm caused any significant damage, Hurricane Bob. Bob travelled up the east coast of the United States, making landfall in Rhode Island. It was responsible for 17 deaths and an estimated $1.5 billion ($2 billion in 2000 dollars) in damage.

An unusual hurricane formed in early November. As a strong extratropical storm moved up the US east coast a tropical cyclone formed within it on November 1. Because the extratropical storm had caused serious damage and the hurricane was expected to be extremely short-lived, it was not named, and warnings for the storm were issued primarily to marine interests. The hurricane made landfall near Halifax, Nova Scotia the next day. No significant damage was reported as it had weakened greatly before crossing the coast.

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
Category Wind speed Storm surge
mph
(km/h)
ft
(m)

5 >156
(>250)
>18 (>5.5)
4 131–155
(210–249)
13–18
(4.0–5.5)
3 111–130
(178–209)
9–12
(2.7–3.7)
2 96–110
(154–177)
6–8
(1.8–2.4)
1 74–95
(119–153)
4–5
(1.2–1.5)

Tropical
storm
35–73
(56–117)
0–3
(0–0.9)
(edit) (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Template:Saffir-Simpson-US&action=edit)
Contents

Storms

Tropical Storm Ana

Tropical Storm Ana began life as a non-tropical cyclone which formed off the east coast of Florida on June 25 and made a leisurely tour of that state over the next few days. It returned to the Atlantic and developed into a Tropical Depression some 100 miles south of Charleston, South Carolina on July 2.

The system accelerated to the north-east running roughly parallel to the East Coast of the United States and strengthened into a Tropical Storm late on July 3. It continued eastwards and lost tropical characteristics over the Atlantic on July 5. There were no damage or casualties related to Ana.

Hurricane Bob

Main Article: Hurricane Bob

An area of disturbed weather developed south of Bermuda on August 12, drifting southwest and becoming a tropical depression on August 16 while 200 miles west of Nassau in the Bahamas. It strengthened into Tropical Storm Bob later the same day. It continued to strengthen as it moved northwest, and reached Hurricane force on August 17, 240 miles east of Daytona Beach, Florida, and reaching Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale on August 19 while passing Norfolk, Virginia.

The eye of the hurricane brushed the eastern tip of Long Island before making landfall in Rhode Island and passing over Newport. It weakened as it crossed Massachusetts, Maine and New Brunswick, and the non-tropical remnant crossed the Atlantic and dissipated near Portugal on August 29.

Storm surges up to 6 ft, and up to 8 inches of rainfall, accompanpied Bob's passage up the East Coast. 16 fatalities were reported from the USA and 2 in Canada, and the cost of damage was estimated at $1.5 billion, mostly in Massachusetts.

For more detail, see Hurricane Bob.

Hurricane Claudette

A tropical depression formed out of a non-tropical system south-east of Bermuda on September 4. It strengthened rapidly and was a Category 3 hurricane by September 6, and may have briefly reached Category 4. It curved around the central Atlantic passing 125 miles south-east of Bermuda on September 8, continued eastwards and dissipated near the Azores on September 14. No damage or casualties were reported.

Tropical Storm Danny

Danny formed from a tropical wave 300 miles south-southwest of Cape Verde on September 7. It headed generally towards the Leeward Islands but dissipated on September 11 without approaching land.

Tropical Storm Erika

Erika formed from a tropical wave in mid-Atlantic, becoming a tropical storm on September 9. It interacted with Hurricane Claudette and headed north-east towards the Azores, which it passed over on September 12 as an extratropical system. No damage or casualties were reported.

Tropical Storm Fabian

Fabian formed in the Gulf of Honduras from the interaction of a cold front with a tropical wave. It became a tropical storm on October 15 southwest of the Isle of Youth, Cuba and passed over that island and the west of mainland Cuba before losing its tropical character between Florida and the Bahamas. Up to 6 inches of rain fell on Cuba, but no damage or casualties were reported.

Hurricane Grace

Grace developed from a subtropical system south of Bermuda, becoming a tropical storm on October 27 and a hurricane the next day. After drifting northwards for a while it was forced rapidly to the east by a powerful extratropical cyclone off New England. It passed 50 miles south of Bermuda on October 29 but winds on the island reached no more than 25 mi/h at that time. Later that day it merged with a frontal system, setting off a series of powerful and unusual meteorological events. This included the formation of another (unnamed) hurricane within a non-tropical system.

No damage or casualties are attributed to Grace. Unusually rough seas and some coastal flooding around the western Atlantic at the time are believed to stem from the extratropical cyclone.

Unnamed Hurricane

Missing image
Unnamed_hurricane_1991_11_01.jpg
The unnamed hurricane as seen by GOES 7 at 18.01 UTC on November 1. The small hurricane can be seen at the center of the much larger extratropical cyclone.

Main Article: The Perfect Storm

The extratropical cyclone that forced Hurricane Grace west caused severe coastal damage and flooding in New England, and several fatalities including the crew of the fishing boat Andrea Gail.

After passing its peak as an extratropical storm it drifted southwards over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, and the center acquired the characteristic convection features of a tropical storm on November 1. A reconnaissance flight the next day discovered hurricane force winds, but it was decided not to assign a name to avoid confusion and undue public alarm. The hurricane's radius was about 30 miles and it continued to be surrounded by an extratropical gale 10 times this size.

It headed rapidly north-eastwards and weakened to a tropical storm before making landfall near Halifax, Nova Scotia. No damage or casualties were attributed to the hurricane phase of the storm.

The genesis of a hurricane within an extratropical cyclone is unusual but not unique - 1980's Hurricane Karl had a similar origin.

Officially unnamed, it was dubbed The Hallowe'en Storm and The Perfect Storm. it was later made the backdrop to a book and film of the latter name. Had the storm been named, it would have been Hurricane Henri.

1991 storm names

The following names were used for named storms that formed in the north Atlantic in 1991. The names not retired from this list were used again in the 1997 season. This is the same list used for the 1985 season except for Erika and Grace, which replaced Elena and Gloria. Storms were named Erika and Grace for the first time in 1991. Names that were not assigned are marked in gray.

  • Ana
  • Bob
  • Claudette
  • Danny
  • Erika
  • Fabian
  • Grace
  • Henri (unused)
  • Isabel (unused)
  • Juan (unused)
  • Kate (unused)
  • Larry (unused)
  • Mindy (unused)
  • Nicholas (unused)
  • Odette (unused)
  • Peter (unused)
  • Rose (unused)
  • Sam (unused)
  • Teresa (unused)
  • Victor (unused)
  • Wanda (unused)

Retirement

The World Meteorological Organization retired one name in the spring of 1992: Bob. It was replaced in 1997 by Bill

See also

External link

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