To watch a popular Hollywood natural disaster movie and review and summarize the scientific merit of it in a report, for my report I chose The Perfect Storm. A movie that is based on the actual storm in late October 1991 later called “The Perfect Storm” (Viets 2000). Also to comment on how realistic the movies’ storyline, effects and scientific merit when compared to the real life disaster which it is trying to recreate. Introduction
In late October in 1991 a nor’easter enveloped a fully formed hurricane known as Hurricane Grace causing huge waves, gale force winds and heavy rain to fall. This storm wreaked havoc along the Eastern coast of the United States and Parts of Canada (Drag 2000). Plot Summary
The movie is based upon a book, which is based on a true story about a ragtag group of fishermen on the ship “Andrea Gail”, who on their previous fishing expeditions have come more than a few pounds short of their bosses expectations. This when the Captain of the “Andrea Gail” Frank W. "Billy" Tyne Jr. decides that he will turn his fortunes around this next trip to sea no matter what.
Shortly after they port after their last extended trip to sea they set sail again trying vainly to find that big score that has eluded them for so long. With no luck at their usual fishing grounds they decide to sail to the Flemish Cap. Here they are rewarded for their gamble with two discoveries, a giant score of fish and a broken icemaker. This means their newly acquired score of fish will go bad if not brought to port as soon as possible. While this is happening, there is a developing storm over on the East coast, and already a threat of a developed hurricane, Hurricane Grace, which looked to be moving in their direction. This is when they are faced with a decision to either wait the storm out, or risk the sail though it and get their fish to port before it rots. Ultimately the crew chooses to try to sail through the storm not knowing how extreme it was going to be in pursuit of a big paycheck, ending in the ships and crews demise. Why did this event occur?
On October 28 1991, a cold front which had developed and moved off the Northeastern coast of the united states met with an extratropical low which was located a few hundred miles of East off the coast of Nova Scotia Canada. While all of this was happening overtop of Eastern Canada there was extremely strong upper air support for, causing the extratropical low to rapidly deepen and become the main weather feature off the Western Atlantic coastline. This became the nor’easter which was to soon envelop the already fully developed Hurricane Grace (Oblack n.d.).
Hurricane Grace had already developed due to a prior subtropical storm and had begun to move East due to a strong Western flow created from the same extratropical low which was becoming the nor’easter over on the East coast of the United States and Canada (Mcleod 2009).
Once Hurricane Grace moved far enough East and collided with the nor’easter, it was absorbed and became what is now known as “The Halloween Nor’easter” or “The Perfect Storm” and lasted for nearly three days. These kinds of meteorological circumstances that led to this “Perfect Storm” only statistically come around every 50-100 years according to meteorologist Bob Case (Oblack n.d.).
Oddly enough, in the very middle of this three pronged storm, a second hurricane actually formed at the very heart of the nor’easter making the storm rage further out of control at its peak. This hurricane was never named for the confusion the current storm was already causing as it had absorbed a hurricane, then out of its remains created a new one (McLeod 2009). Global Significance
The film portrayed the storm in the same area where the actual storm hit. The movie was actually filmed in Gloucester Massachusetts, where the original story originated from (Tucker 2000).
The Atlantic coastal area is known for...