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Hurricane Grace was the seventh named storm and third hurricane of the 1991 Atlantic hurricane season. Grace developed on October 25 as a subtropical cyclone while located well south of Bermuda. The cyclone acquired tropical characteristics on October 27 while located southwest of Bermuda. Grace ultimately became a Category 2 hurricane before becoming extratropical east of Bermuda on October 29.
Grace caused no damage and no deaths, although it contributed to the powerful 1991 Halloween Nor'easter, which ultimately gave birth to Hurricane Eight during the season.
|Formation||October 25, 1991|
|Dissipation||October 29, 1991|
|Highest winds||75 mph|
|Lowest pressure||972 mbar|
|Part of the||1991 Atlantic hurricane season|
Grace developed from a mid-level low centered between Bermuda and the Dominican Republic on October 23. The circulation slowly worked its way to the surface, and a ship report of a west wind of 10 knots indicates that the low reached the surface a little to the north of the ship by 1800 UTC October 25. It is during this time that the low is estimated to have developed into a [[subtropical cyclone]|subtropical depression]]. At 0600 UTC October 26, Grace strengthened into a subtropical storm. At around 1800 UTC October 27, deep convection began to persist over the low-level center of the cyclone, and a flight into the system from reconnaissance aircraft showed that the strongest winds were located near the center, indicating that the cyclone had acquired tropical characteristics. Convection around Grace's center continued to increase late on October 27. Based on satellite imagery as well as a report of a surface wind in excess of 74 mph, Grace was upgraded to a hurricane at 0000 UTC October 28. Grace initially moved northwest at around 10 knots. During this time, an extratropical cyclone developed well to the north of Grace, and provided a mostly westward steering flow over the hurricane, which imparted an eastward motion with some deceleration on October 28. Just 24 hours later, Grace significantly accelerated, going from a forward speed of 3 knots to 40 knots. At 1400 UTC October 29, Grace is estimated to have reached its peak intensity of 105 mph, after reconnaissance aircraft reported flight-level winds in excess of 111 knots, along with surface winds near 100 kt. By the afternoon of October 29, Grace turned east-northeast and was absorbed by a vigorous cold front associated with the aforementioned extratropical cyclone at 1800 UTC.
About 10 hours before Grace made its closest approach to the island, a Hurricane Warning was issued for Bermuda. A Tropical Storm Warning was maintained for a little while after the Hurricane Warning was dropped.
On Bermuda, Grace produced tropical storm force winds, with a gust of around 40 mph occurring near 0300 UTC October 27. An hour before, a peak wind gust in excess of nearly 65 mph was reported on the island in association with Grace. Grace caused no damage or deaths on Bermuda, despite the strong winds.
Grace was a large storm, due to its initial subtropical nature. It produced large waves, as high as 15 feet at buoy 41001 offshore the coast of North Carolina, and it produced waves of about 10 feet along the east coast of Florida. The waves, in combination with spring tides, produced isolated and minor beach erosion, although no significant damage or fatalities were reported from North Carolina to Florida. As the extratropical cyclone that developed to the north of Grace during its lifetime intensified, Grace became merely a secondary contributor to subsequent treacherous sea conditions reported over much of the western Atlantic during the last week of October and the first few days of November. High waves, rough surf, and associated coastal flooding occurred behind the cold front along the Atlantic in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, the East Coast of the United States, and Bermuda. Winds as high as 70 mph encompassed a large area behind the aforementioned cold front. These strong winds impacted the northern shore of Bermuda, destroying four or five boats as well as causing minor damage to vegetation. Sustained winds in excess of 90 mph along with waves in excess of 101 feet (as per Canadian buoy 44137 occurred across the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. Because all of this occurred well to the north of Grace's circulation center, it is believed that these impacts were from the extratropical cyclone that eventually absorbed Grace, and not related to the hurricane itself.
Lack of Retirement
Because it did not cause significant damage, the name Grace was not retired in the Spring of 1992 by the World Meteorological Organization. It is on the list of names to be used for the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season.