Perfect Storm, The - ANOTHER MAELSTROM

This image depicts the tracking of a massive 1991 storm (in the North Atlantic) known as “The Perfect Storm.” It is online courtesy NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).


After Billy Tyne warned the fleet, the radio on the Andrea Gail was silent. It's possible she was out-of-touch with the rest of the fleet because her communications equipment was destroyed by the storm. (Be patient with this animated link from NOAA—it's worth the wait.) It's also possible that she and her crew were lost that night.

If the boat and her crew survived the first maelstrom, however, they would have been ill-prepared to handle what came next. The Perfect Storm (also called the "Halloween Storm of 1991") soon spawned a North Atlantic hurricane! (Follow this link to a colored satellite picture of the storm on October 29th at 0700 EST.)

As Hurricane Grace was dying on October 29, she was absorbed into the Halloween Storm as it moved south. Recall that tropical cyclones get their energy from warm water. As the Halloween Storm absorbed Grace, it was directly over very warm (80 degrees F) Gulf Stream water. Warm water helped the storm gain intensity as the low pressure deepened.

The infrared satellite picture taken at 1801 EST shows colliding weather systems. The effect on the sea was phenomenal. Massive waves of seventy feet and higher battered everything in their path.

The "Perfect Storm" was on its way to Force 12.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5199stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jun 01, 2000

Updated Last Revision: Dec 09, 2019

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"ANOTHER MAELSTROM" AwesomeStories.com. Jun 01, 2000. Jul 01, 2022.
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