5 Of The Most-Popular Tornado Movies You’ve Got To See

tornado-movies-photo-by-papalars.jpg It seems most everybody enjoys tornado movies. After all, tornado movies typically are good thrillers where the ‘bad guy’ is a powerful force of nature that strikes both awe and fear into us at the same time.

In fact, you could say that tornado movies usually involve a major ‘plot twist’ (OK, maybe that wasn’t the best joke).

But, seriously, what are some movies that star at least one tornado? 


5 Great Tornado Movies

So what are some good tornado movies?

Well, keep in mind that the list of tornado movies is relatively small to begin with.

After all, most thrillers involve villains are played by human actors — not meteorological terrors (or computer-generated special effects meant to look like tornadoes!)

So, sit back, relax, and take some time to enjoy the 5 films listed below:

  • The Wizard Of Oz (1939) Who can forget the tornado that dropped Dorothy’s house on the Wicked Witch of the East?  Tornado Movie Fun Fact: The tornado in The Wizard Of Oz is actually a 35-foot-long muslin sock!
  • Twister (1996) The major player in this movie is a violent tornado that destroys a town and bewilders the mystifies the scientists trying to explore more about tornadoes with the use of special data-gathering instruments.
  • Storm Chasers: Revenge Of The Twisters (1998) This made-for-TV-movie follows the career ups and downs of a storm chaser, whose storm-chasing husband had been killed on the job, sent to investigate extreme weather conditions.
  • Night Of The Twisters (1996) A Nebraska town is ravaged by a storm dropping furious tornadoes in this movie that profiles the plight and travails of a family.
  • Tornado! (1996) This made-for-TV-movie shows one man’s efforts to develop a machine that can predict tornado development. Encounters with tornadoes occurs throughout the film.

Are The Tornadoes In Movies Realistic?

You’re probably wondering if the tornadoes you see spinning out of control in the movies are really anything like the tornadoes you hear about in the news.

Well, yes and no. Perhaps the most realistic thing about the tornadoes in films like Twister is that strong tornadoes (like the F-4s and F-5s measured on the Enhanced Fujita Scale) can really cause widespread devastation. In fact, some tornadoes have nearly leveled whole towns.

However, there are many exaggerations in the way some Hollywood tornadoes are portrayed. While tornado outbreaks can yield the development of several tornadoes at a time, mutant-style outbreaks of 500-mile-per-hour tornadoes wiping large cities off the map are unheard of.

Be wary of any film showing scientists making heroic passes through tornadoes while driving cars or trucks. This is not only dangerous, it’s virtually impossible that anybody could drive a vehicle through (or very near) a serious tornado and live to tell the tale.

Tornadoes have been known to pick up cars, trucks, and even trains as easily as a child picks up a toy. Once air-born, vehicles are thrown around and smashed into buildings, trees, or the ground.

…But Can Tornadoes Pick Up Houses And Kill Witches?

Tornadoes may be able to kill witches (and other people in their way), but I’d be careful about taking trips in houses picked up by tornadoes. Yes, whole buildings (small ones anyway) have been thrown into the air and carried about, but they usually crash down in pieces.

However, you might be interested to know that a tornado once picked up a locomotive and then placed it down in the opposite direction on a nearby track!

Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez

My love for coins and numismatics began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I've also been studying meteorology and watching weather patterns for years. I enjoy sharing little-known facts and fun stuff about coins, weather, travel, health, and living green with others.

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  • Ericbolson

    Well Mutant tornadoes do exist and can wipe entire city’s off the map. Remember the recent one 300 miles wide and leveled almost an entire city and killed many and obviously did not have an accurate measurement on how fast the winds were, guessing close to 350 mph or more. 

    • OBKB

      There’s never been a 300 mile wide tornado. A 300 mile wide hurricane, yes, not a tornado, though. I think you may have meant it traveled 300 miles, which is possible, but it was probably only 1-2 miles wide. 

    • Jesse

      If im not mistaken the largest tornado “Recorded” was the one that hit the U.S more specifically the one that hit in Oklahoma May 3, 1999. That tornado had wind speeds of 300 + with a base foundation of 2.5-3 miles wide. It did however carry across Oklahoma engulfing, Midwest City, Moore, Edmond, Del City, and Oklahoma City. My information for this is by first hand encounter. This tornado was an EF5 and is a Meteorologist dream to study. It did carry roughly 50 miles and the storm itself, not the tornado, went nearly all the way “north east” accross the U.S. leaving strong thunderstorms and further producing tornados along the way. Keep in mind the base of the tornado is not the base of destruction as this same tornado produced destructive winds demolishing homes upwards of 18 miles outside of the eye or center of the tornado. However there was one that was recorded in toranto canada that surpasses this storm, for the longest distance but do not think it it matches the windspeeds or base size.

  • tiredofcriminals

    I live in Birmingham, AL and during the April 27, 2011 outbreak, a 190 mph EF4 tornado (200 mph is EF5) traveled up here from Tuscaloosa, on through Concord, to Pleasant Grove and on northeast. It was at times 1/2 to 1 mile side (huge measurements for width). I live 3 miles from its path through Pleasant Grove, and ended up with enough roof damage to get a new roof. Lots of debris in our yards in the neighborhood from as far away as 40 miles. It did smash MANY houses to bits and only their slabs were left – and I mean ONLY the slab left. However, on the edges of the tornado’s core, I saw large homes that had been picked up and “gently” put down nearby looking just fine – they were moved off their foundations a few to a dozen feet and put down in the dirt or driveway appearing to be intact. Of course, the homes could not be repaired or moved back on their foundations and had to be bulldozed and rebuilt.

  • rickymendes

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJcdNHg23iI&feature=plcp This one happened yesterday in Portugal! Newer saw a tornado video like this one! Freak! Freak!