HomeUncategorizedPerfect Storm Movie, An Imperfect Storm According to Meteorologists

Perfect Storm Movie, An Imperfect Storm According to Meteorologists

Perfect Storm Movie, An Imperfect Storm According to Meteorologists

Hollywood often raises films with the theme of extreme weather and climate with extraordinary visual effects technology. Like the film Hurricane Heist which was quite successful .

There are also films based on true stories set in extreme weather, such as the Perfect Storm film , which we will discuss.

Although carefully made, the storm described in the film Perfect Storm received criticism from meteorologists or weather experts .

About the Movie Perfect Storm
The film Perfect Storm is based on the true story of the disappearance of the fishing boat Andrea Gail [1]. The fishing vessel sank in the middle of the sea after being hit by a hurricane in 1991.

Perfect Storm stars veteran Hollywood actors such as George Clooney who plays Captain Billy Tyne and Mark Wahlberg as a member of the crew named Bobby Shatford.

At first the Andrea Gail sailed from Gloucester in October 1991 to the Grand Banks with a crew of six including the captain.

They then decided to go fishing in the fish-rich region of the Flemish Cap. This is because on the Grand Banks their catch is not good.

While in Flemish Cap the catch of the fishermen was quite a lot so they decided to go home.

It was at this time that they met bad weather in the form of a storm triggered by Hurricane Grace which was then joined by another storm which was nicknamed The Perfect Storm .

Described in the film Perfect Storm , the hurricane produced waves nearly 30 meters high and hit the Andrea Gail ship until the entire crew was thrown into the middle of the sea.

The last contact of the Andrea Gail ship and all of its crew disappeared on October 28, 1991. On November 1, 1991 the ship should have arrived at the port as scheduled [2].

Although an extensive search was carried out, it yielded no results except for the Andrea Gail EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) which was found a few days later [3].

This film was made based on a book that was already well-known, ” The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea ” written by Sebastian Junger [4].

The author interviewed people related to the crew of the Andrea Gail as well as reports from the Coast Guard , who had tried to save the ship until the last second [5].

What is a Hurricane

Hurricane in Indonesian which is absorbed by the term hurricane is another name for Tropical Cyclone or also Typhoon.

Hurricanes or typhoons or also tropical cyclones are storms with wind vortices that reach speeds of more than 200 km/hour around the center of their vortex.

The diameter of a hurricane or typhoon can reach hundreds of kilometers with the weather conditions that form in it in the form of strong winds, very heavy rain and accompanied by thunderstorms.

The term hurricane is used in the Americas. The name Typhoon (Typhoon) is used in the Philippines, China, Korea and Japan.

The term typhoon comes from the word Typhoon from the Chinese “Taifung” which means strong wind.

India calls hurricanes with the term cyclone (cyclone). Australia and Indonesia also call it a tropical cyclone (tropical cyclone).

Hurricane Grace dan “The Perfect Storm”

Hurricane Grace was a level two hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale with sustained winds of up to 165 km/h .

The Saffir-Simpson scale is a scale for describing the strength of a cyclone or hurricane based on wind speed and the impact on buildings.

Basically this scale does not include impacts arising from extreme rain or waves that are formed [6].

Life cycle

Hurricane Grace began with the formation of a low pressure area ( LPA ) in the southern Bermuda Sea on October 23, 1991. This LPA then grew into a “Tropical Storm” on October 26, 1991 [8].

On October 27, the Tropical Storm developed into Category 1 Hurricane Grace that made its way toward the coast of the southeastern United States.

On October 28 Hurricane Grace changed direction, moving back east away from the American coast.

Hurricane Grace continued to grow and reached a peak on October 29 where waves reaching 30 meters were formed in the ocean.

This wave hit the coast of the East Coast of the United States.

The Andrea Gail ship itself has lost contact since October 28 when Hurricane Grace had not yet reached the peak of its strength.

At its peak, Hurricane Grace’s winds reached 165 km/h with an air pressure at its center of 908 mb [7].

After several hours reaching a hurricane scale of 2, in the afternoon of October 29 Hurricane Grace weakened as its energy was absorbed by the newly growing storm [3].

The storm began to grow on October 28, 1991 north of the extinction site of Hurricane Grace. Its growing point is near the coast of America’s Nova Scatia.

At first the new storm was not given a name so it became known as an ” unnamed hurricane “.

On 31 October the new storm developed into a level 1 hurricane and was dubbed the Hallowen Storm . This storm then reached the mainland and became known as ” The Perfect Storm “.

On November 1 hurricane “The Perfect Storm” began to approach land. Experts are confused because usually the storm will weaken when it reaches land.

The Halloween Storm remained a major storm until it became extinct on November 2, 1991 [9].


By the time Hurricane Grace was at sea, strong winds and high waves had swept the American coast causing flooding and damage to the New England coast [7].

At this time the Andrea Gail ship with 6 of its crew was declared missing.

Then when Halloween Storm reached land, hundreds of houses and buildings were knocked from their foundations or simply disappeared. Seawalls, bollards, bulkheads and piers were reduced to rubble over a large area.

Many small boats sank in their berths and thousands of lobster traps were destroyed [9].

Meteorologist’s Opinion

What makes the Hallowen storm or “unnamed storm” off America’s East Coast nicknamed “The Perfect Storm”?

Weather experts cite its perfect shaping factors, such as the strengthening of the non-tropical low pressure area off the Atlantic coast of Canada, the former hurricane (Grace), strong high pressure over eastern Canada and the eastern US, then the unusual transition of a hurricane to another storm [9].

Then, how perfect is the Hollywood movie “The Perfect Storm”?

As a meteorological event – not very.

Meteorologists actually suggest that the 1991 hurricane may have just been the victim of a Hollywood sensation [10].

It is undeniable that these storms are very strong and dangerous for any ship sailing on the seas.

Meteorologists disagree that the storm was described as “more powerful than recorded history.

The author of “The Perfect Storm” Sebastian Junger said he believed the storm’s impact on the coast of New England was “the worst in living memory”.

According to him, the phrase “perfect storm” was based on a conversation with Bob Case, a meteorologist for The National Weather Service’s Boston, Mass.

Bob Case himself said that while he doesn’t remember specifically speaking to Junger among the thousands of phone calls he’s made over the years.

He felt he probably meant to explain that three weather conditions had come together to create the “perfect situation” . However, this applies to any major hurricane.

The “three storms,” ​​he says, were actually a huge high pressure system over Canada, a low pressure system radiating along a slow moving cold front, and tropical humidity from the remnants of Hurricane Grace, which dissipated by then.

The high pressure system, which originates in northern Canada, provides plenty of cold air. The edge of the cold air – on this cold front – pushed into the area off the coast of New England on October 27. A weak low pressure system continues to advance along the front.

Cold air behind the front and warm air in front of it causes a strong temperature difference to form over a relatively small area. Such a sharp change in temperature caused the low temperature to rise rapidly.

The result was what meteorologists call an “extra-tropical cyclone”.

Off the East Coast, extra-tropical cyclones are called “Nor’easters”, because the winds blow strongly from the northeast along the East Coast.

The third circumstance was the build-up of moisture from the remnants of Hurricane Grace, which had trapped into the great Nor’easter circulation. By October 31, the Nor’easter had stalled and had even begun to move backwards towards the west.

While this is somewhat unusual, it is by no means unique.

Weather monitoring buoys in the ocean recorded wind gusts of up to 120 km/h and wave heights of up to 10 meters. Higher waves are definitely still possible, waves as high as 30 meters seem impossible.

Other meteorologists say The Perfect Storm is still far from the strongest.

Based on records, the Columbus Day Hurricane, whose original name was Typhoon Freda in 1962, was the first strongest hurricane. The wind speed reaches 270 km / hour.

Next was the “Superstorm” in March 1993, with wind speeds of 160 km/h that affected the weather over most of the United States, setting record snowfall , cold temperatures and low pressure on the East Coast [10].

Despite this, forecasters remain appreciative of Sebastian Junger’s efforts as a whole.

In compiling the book, Junger has researched subjects as diverse as meteorology, oceanography, shipbuilding, New England fishing culture, and the search and rescue techniques of the Coast Guard.

Thus, while “The Perfect Storm” may be a perfect film, as an accurate depiction of a real weather event, meteorologists say it is not so perfect [10].

The film itself won an Academy Award nomination for the Best Visual Effects category.

Such is the review of the “Perfect Storm” which is an imperfect storm according to meteorologists