What is a Superstorm?

Hurricane Sandy is seen as an example of a "superstorm". Editorial credit: Brian Derr / Shutterstock.com.
Hurricane Sandy is seen as an example of a "superstorm". Editorial credit: Brian Derr / Shutterstock.com.

A superstorm is a huge, harsh, and powerful storm that usually causes damage over a large area. The name "superstorm" was introduced in 1993 by the National Weather Service to define massive and destructive storms. Originally, the expressions "perfect storm" and "storm of the century" were used to describe unusual storms. Superstorms have unusual weather pattern. Notably, they possess the cold-weather pattern of a winter storm.

Examples of Superstorms

To begin with, The Great Gale of 1880 that took place in the Northwest United States was a vicious and extremely harsh extratropical storm. It took place on January 9, 1880. Northern Atlantic Ocean also experienced a superstorm (the most powerful storm) that is known as Braer Storm that took place in 1993. The strength of the storm caused the Gale-force winds to cover northern Atlantic and the hurricane-force winds to cover the center.

Because of the storm, there was a severe snowstorm known as a blizzard, which covered most of Scotland. The blizzard led to the crumbling of the oil tanker MV Braer. The Storm of the Century, which is also referred to as '93 Superstorm, also took place in 1993. The large and intense storm took place over the Gulf of Mexico. The storm was massive, and it extended through the Gulf of Mexico to the eastern US before moving to Canada. It then stretched to Honduras.

During the occurrence of this superstorm, there were records of cold temperatures in areas of the east and south of the United States. The storm also caused the loss of electric power. In 2006, another superstorm called Hannukkah Eve windstorm occurred in the Pacific Northwest Region of the United States and Southern British Columbia, Canada. North American Storm Complex was another storm that took place in 2010 in North America. The storm was harsh, huge and vicious; it caused some weather events like the derecho. A derecho is a prolonged windstorm that is widespread and in a straight line. It spread from the Gulf Coast to Great Lakes. In November 2011, Bering Sea Cyclone took place in Alaska. The superstorm was enormous.

Another well-known superstorm is Hurricane Sandy (informally called the Superstorm Sandy). It was the most destructive and massive hurricane in 2012. It led to the loss of 233 lives. The storm affected various areas such as Bermuda, the Bahamas, Eastern Canada, Greater Antilles, and most of the eastern areas of the United States.


More in World Facts