Tropical Storm Grace was the eighth named storm of the 1997 Atlantic hurricane season. Grace was also the final storm to form in the inactive hurricane season of 1997. Grace formed near Puerto Rico on October 16, then moved east-northeast, and dissipated on October 17.
Grace caused no deaths, and no reported damage, although it may have caused some moderate damage, since the precursor disturbance dumped as much as 12.69 inches of rain in Aibonito, Puerto Rico.
|Formation||October 16, 1997|
|Dissipation||October 17, 1997|
|Highest winds||45 mph|
|Lowest pressure||999 mbar|
|Areas affected||Puerto Rico|
Grace developed from one of several lows that developed along a frontal trough that extended east-northeastward from the western Carribean Sea, all the way to the central Atlantic Ocean. Surface observations indicated that the extratropical system that Grace originated from was initially north of Hispaniola. Surface observations also indicated that the extratropical system reached gale strength near 0000 UTC on October 15. On October 16, a large area of deep convection had developed over or just to the northeast of the low-level circulation center of the system. At 0000 UTC on October 16, it is estimated that the system became a tropical depression. The depression quickly strengthened into Tropical Storm Grace, becoming the final storm of the inactive 1997 Atlantic hurricane season. After becoming a tropical storm, Grace did not lose all of its extratropical characteristics, with its circulation center remaining elongated along the frontal trough and a band of deep convection also appeared to link Grace to another low-pressure center that had gale-force winds that was located 500 miles to the east-northeast of Grace.
Grace developed in an environment with strong southwesterly wind shear that was generally to the south of a large extratropical cyclone located south of Newfoundland. Grace accelerated on an east-northeast to northeasterly track, moving at speeds as high as 25 knots. Based on ship reports, as well as intensity estimates based on satellite imagery, it is estimated that Grace reached its peak intensity of 45 mph and a pressure of 999 mb at the time it became a tropical cyclone. Shortly thereafter, Grace began to weaken, and, on the morning of October 17, the deep convection that Grace had dissipated, revealing a weak and diffuse low-level circulation center. Over the course of a day, that weak and diffuse circulation center became unidentifiable.
The precursor disturbance dropped 12.69 inches of rain in Aibonito, Puerto Rico. Other than that, there are no known impacts from Grace.
Lack of Retirement
Because there was no damage, Grace was not retired in the Spring of 1998 by the World Meteorological Organization. It was used again in 2003, and is on the list of names to be used for the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season.