Facts for the "Perfect Storm" of 1991

Updated:

  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration named the storm the “Perfect Storm,” but it is also called the Halloween Nor’easter of 1991.
  • Storm formed when a nor’easter, which formed off Nova Scotia around Oct. 29, 1991, absorbed Hurricane Grace, which formed on Oct. 27, 1991.
  • Peak intensity was Oct. 30, 1991.
  • At peak intensity, the nor’easter had sustained winds around 60 knots or 70 mph.
  • A record high tide of 7.8 feet was recorded at Ocean City, Md., on Oct. 20. In Boston, the tide reached 14.1 feet above low water. In Massachusetts, 25-foot waves reached the shoreline.
  • North Carolina’s coast had occasional winds of 35 to 45 mph for five days.

See how the Perfect Storm of 1991 compares to Hurricane Sandy.

  • The storm sank the swordfishing boat Andrea Gail. The story became the basis for Sebastian Junger’s novel “The Perfect Storm.”
  • According to Junger’s novel, the Andrea Gail is presumed to have sunk after midnight Oct. 28, when the storm was still intensifying. Remnants washed on shore at Sable Island on Nov. 5.
  • Two men drowned off Staten Island when their boat capsized. A man fishing on a bridge was swept off in New York. A fisherman was swept off the rocks in Rhode Island. Six fisherman were lost after the Andrea Gail sank.
  • Federal disaster areas were declared in seven Massachusetts counties, five in Maine and one in New Hampshire.
  • Total damage was estimated at more than $200 million.
  • The storm turned south and became a small hurricane after Nov. 1. It is listed as the “Unnamed Hurricane” by the NOAA. The hurricane reached maximum sustained winds of 75 mph on Nov. 1.

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (noaa.gov)

To read the NOAA's complete coverage of the Perfect Storm of 1991, click here.