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Heather’s Weather Whys: 'The Perfect Storm' 30 years later

Last week Hurricane Grace wandered across the central Caribbean without much harm. But 30 years ago a storm of the same name became part of the 'Perfect Storm.'
Credit: WGRZ

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Hurricanes and Nor’easters are two completely different beasts, typically forming in two very different seasons. One is a big rain-maker, and the other can bring rough wintry weather. Both can drive some pretty wicked winds. 

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Almost 30 years ago, back in late October of 1991, a dying hurricane, Hurricane Grace, joined forces with a newly spawned Nor’easter off the New England coast. The combination of the two was a once-in-100-years event that would eventually be deemed “the perfect storm” due to the rarity of two powerhouse storm systems colliding. 

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The result was a hurricane-force storm that brought shoreline damage to a huge stretch of the East Coast of the U.S. Buoys recorded wave heights of 30 to 40 feet in open water with a couple of rogue waves near 100 feet. The storm took 13 lives, many of which were people who were out at sea. One group, six fishermen aboard The Andrea Gail, inspired a novel-turned-movie by the year 2000.

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Learn more about the weather factors that came together for the Perfect Storm in this week’s Heather’s Weather Whys.

New episodes of Heather’s Weather Whys are posted to the WGRZ YouTube channel every Wednesday evening. 

If you have a weather question for Heather Waldman to answer, send it to heather.waldman@wgrz.com or connect with me on Facebook or Twitter