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The Halloween Storm, Also Known as "The Perfect Storm" - 1991

October 28, 1991

The conditions were "perfect" for a monstrous storm, a meteorological time bomb that would explode in the northern Atlantic Ocean creating waves ten stories high and imperiling the New England fleet. Bob Case, a NOAA National Weather Service meteorologist at the Boston, MA forecast office: "It was an unprecedented set of circumstances. A strong disturbance associated with a cold front moved along the U.S.- Canadian border on October 27 and passed through New England pretty much without incident. At the same time, a huge high pressure system was forecast to build over southeast Canada. When a low pressure system along the front moved into the Maritimes southeast of Nova Scotia, it began to intensify due to the cold dry air introduced from the north. These circumstances alone, could have created a strong storm. But then, like throwing gasoline on a fire, a dying hurricane Grace delivered immeasurable tropical energy to create the perfect storm. The imagery in the movie was taken by GOES-7 between 0500Z on October 28, 1991 and 2330Z November 4, 1991. On April 12, 2012 GOES-7 was retired from service through a final burn from its booster, which moved it approximately 186 miles (300 km) above its operational geostationary orbit to a graveyard orbit, so that it will not interfere with other satellites. The final maneuver to adjust the spin rate of the spacecraft and deplete all remaining fuel happened at 2 a.m. EDT April 12, 2012. The communications packages were turned off then and the satellite powered down. GOES-7 is the only satellite in the history of NOAA’s geostationary program to serve both as the GOES-East and GOES-West spacecraft in the course of normal operations.