This time of year, we occasionally get rain and wind from tropical systems. And we also occasionally get hit by big rain and windstorms that don't originate in the tropics - storms that are just your run-of-the-mill regular low pressure systems.

With today's science and technology, we can tell which storms originate in the tropics, and which don't. But of course it hasn't always been that way. A great storm battered this area and New England on this date in 1804, but we're still not completely sure whether it was a hurricane or not.

This storm struck with what was reported to be a "violent squall" around 8am, sinking a ship in Delaware Bay. The violence of the wind also tipped a ferry at Trenton and drove a ship onto the beach at Absecon, near Atlantic City. Farther north, it was cold enough for snow - two to three feet in parts of Massachusetts and New York. Certainly not your typical hurricane precipitation. Whether this was a tropical system or not, it has gone down in history as "The Snow Hurricane of 1804."

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