The Perfect Storm at AwesomeStories

The town of Gloucester, in Massachusetts, keeps track of its “men who go down to the sea in ships.” Six men who were killed in 1991's “Perfect Storm” have their names on that list.

On October 23, 1991, Billy Tyne (played by George Clooney in the film “The Perfect Storm”) and his five crewmates set their longlines for what they hoped would be the best swordfish catch of the season. Aboard the Andrea Gail, they were fishing in waters off Newfoundland's Grand Banks.

Unknown to Tyne and his crew, one of the rarest meteorological events of the century was developing. Three separate weather systems were on a “perfectly” aligned collision course. A Great Lakes storm system (moving east), a Canadian cold front (moving south) and Hurricane Grace (moving northeast) were all headed for the North Atlantic. They would eventually collide where the Andrea Gail was located.

In this story about the storm and the film:

  • Learn how hurricanes develop;
  • See how ships were warned about bad weather during 1991;
  • Meet the real Billy Tyne and his crew;
  • Inspect the Andrea Gail and the track of the storm which eventually claimed her;
  • Examine the satellite images of the developing “Perfect Storm”;
  • Plot the last-known location of the Andrea Gail on the “perfect storm” graph;
  • Compare the size of the boat (72 feet) with the data from a Canadian weather buoy which reported waves of 99.735 feet (30.5 meters);
  • Examine the shoals off Sable Island (where some experts believe the Andrea Gail was lost); and
  • Discover what other famous ship—the Titanic—sank just a few hundred miles away.

Learning about “The Perfect Storm” comes alive at AwesomeStories. Depending on a teacher’s preference, students can:

  • “See” the story unfolding before their eyes in class (then view it, with their parents, at home);
  • "Think about” the story (with essential questions, such as “How much courage does it take to be a hurricane hunter?”); and
  • “Study” the story (with lots of pictures and videos, including a clip of ships battling monster seas).

Using an integrated approach—combining STEM, visual arts, historical materials and language arts—students investigate weather phenomenon, like The Perfect Storm, in personalized-learning fashion with words and concepts suitable for a range of achievement levels. Students can then create their own stories, using the AwesomeStories’ archive of primary sources, to produce their own related stories to share with their class, their family and (if accepted for publication) … the whole online world!

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

Original Release: Nov 29, 2019

Updated Last Revision: Jul 12, 2024

Media Credits

The image, at the top of this page, shows "The Perfect Storm" at its peak intensity on 30 October 1991 at 1226 UTC. The image is from NOAA / Satellite and Information Service.


To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"The Perfect Storm at AwesomeStories" AwesomeStories.com. Nov 29, 2019. Jul 12, 2024.
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