"The technical name for the new storm was a 'midlatitude cyclone.' The people in its path, however, would later call it the No Name Hurricane, since it had all the force of a hurricane, but was never officially designated as one. And because the brunt of the storm would strike the Eastern Seaboard around October 31, it would also acquire another name: the Halloween Gale." (Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm)
People in the Northeastern United States have been dealing with winter storms for centuries, and people in the South and on the East Coast have dealt with hurricanes and tropical storms for just as long, but it's rare for the weather systems that produce such storms to actually collide with each other and produce a more powerful storm. In fact it's unusual enough that when it happened in late October 1991, one weatherman dubbed it the "perfect storm".
Indeed, the perfect storm of 1991 was unique in many respects. By feeding off of Hurricane Grace and another storm to the south, the nor'easter that was hitting the Northeast and Canada became an incredibly powerful storm that struck the North Atlantic before swinging back south and again developing into a tropical storm. In the process it produced waves in excess of 100 feet near Nova Scotia and caused substantial flooding across the East Coast. It was also responsible for a handful of deaths throughout the region.
The storm may have been one of those that residents in the area would remember and talk about in comparison to subsequent storms, but the perfect storm is well-known across the country thanks to Sebastian Junger's book, The Perfect Storm.
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- Me & My Girls