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Superstorm is a term used to denote a large, destructive storm without another distinct meteorological classification, such as hurricane. The term is of recent coinage, and, due to its lack of a formal definition, there is some debate as to its usefulness.[1]

Origin and Usage[edit]

Before the early 1990s, the phrases "storm of the century" or "perfect storm" were generally used to describe unusually large or destructive storms.[2] The term "superstorm" was employed in 1993 by the National Weather Service to describe a Nor'easter in March of that year.[3] The term is most frequently used to describe a weather pattern that is as destructive as a hurricane, but which exhibits the cold-weather patterns of a winter storm.[4]


See also[edit]

  • Perfect storm, an expression for a rare combination of undesirable weather circumstances occurring concurrently in an unusually powerful storm.


  1. ^ Shaw, Jerry. "Hurricane vs. Superstorm: What's the Difference?". Newsmax. Retrieved 27 April 2017. 
  2. ^ Chameides, Bill. "What makes a storm 'super'". Duke’s Nicholas School blog. Retrieved 27 April 2017. 
  3. ^ National Weather Service, U.S. Department of Commerce. National Disaster Survey Report: Superstorm of March 1993 (PDF) (Report). Retrieved 27 April 2017. 
  4. ^ Conklin, Al (2013). "What's in a name? Sandy: Hurricane or Superstorm?". WSFA. Retrieved 27 April 2017.