It was Halloween Eve 1991, the weather was crisp and pleasant in western Massachusetts and New England. However, it was not the children that would be playing tricks on the people of this region, it was instead nature. The day before a storm of surprising intensity had
brought waves of 25 feet crashing onto the short and swells of more than 100 feet at sea. Thousands of costal homes were seriously damaged, and Atlantic City recorded its second highest ride record. Damage cost were in the hundreds of millions and approaching the levels inflicted by Hurricane Bob only weeks earlier.
Initially, the storm originated off of New England as an extratropical storm, which is the conflagration of atmospheric temperature contrasts common to the midlatitudes. After weakening most of the day, the storm drifted south in the evening and came upon the Gulf Stream were temperatures were about seventy-eight degrees farenhieght, which are ideal conditions for tropical storms to develop overnight. The image of an eye became apparent on the satellite photos as the intensity of the storm increased. The eye was a sign that the storm was developing a tropical structure and nearing hurricane intensity.
On November 1, the United States Air Force Reserved flew into the Halloween storm Essay, were they unmasked a tropical cyclone. At 7 p.
m., they found a cluster of hurricane hallmarks: winds of nearly 100 m.p.h. at flight level, a temperature increase of seven degrees in the storms core, and an extrapolated surface pressure of 981 millibars (1, Henson, 1996). Unlike the previous day were the storm had been more diffused, with no well-defined center and winds spinning over 600 nautical miles.
Henson states, The Halloween storm had donned a masterful disguise that has been tantalizing forecasters with its surprising frequency and uncharacteristic form(1, Henson, 1996).
Brady describes the Halloween Storm of 1991 to be a convergence of noreasters so rare and devastating that one meteorologist dubbed it the perfect storm(1, 1997). A noreasters and hurricanes have similar storm characteristics. Noreasters are the most damaging storms along the Atlantic Coast. They stay along the ocean coastline for a longer period of time and cover a larger area than hurricanes. A noreaster can stay in one area for days at a time causing total destruction.
They lack the short, intensity and wind speed that hurricanes have. Noreasters are among the winters most ferocious storms. They get their name from its continuously strong northeasterly winds blowing in from the ocean ahead of the storm and over the costal areas. (Winter Storms 1-2). Since the Halloween storm had excessive storm surges it damaged a lot of the highways because, it was it was full of the sand from all of the beaches that the storm surges caused. Storm surges are a low-pressure system that exert less atmospheric pressure than usual on the oceans surface, allowing the sea to bulge upwards beneath it.
Hurricanes can cause great damage. They damage homes, highways, and basically anything that gets in its way. They can lift whole houses out of their foundations and smash them to pieces like it did in Long Island and in many other different places.(10, Lauber, 1996). In the hurricanes the winds usual do the most damage. The Halloween storm had winds of 50 to 70 knots.
Three factors that determine the development of waves are wind speed, wind duration, and fetch.(2, Cameron, 1993). The Halloween storm blew for 114 hours, which is nearly five days. Ralph Bigio says that The Halloween storm simply rewrites the climatology of the region.(2, Cameron, 1993). Beach erosion and coastal flooding was severe and widespread, even causing damage to lighthouses.
Hundreds of homes and businesses were either knocked from their foundations or simply disappeared. Sea walls, boardwalks, bulkheads, and piers were reduced to rubble over a wide area. Numerous small boats were sunk at their berths and thousands of lobster traps were destroyed. Flooding was extensive invading homes and closing roads and airports. Former President Bush’s home in Kennebunkport, ME suffered damage as windows were blown out, water flooded the building, and some structural damage also occurred. Even inland areas suffered major damage.
The Hudson, Hackensack, and Passaic Rivers all experienced tidal flooding, and .