(at around 1 min) In the scene set in 1969, the TV displays the words, "tornado warning." The National Weather Service did not begin using that term until 1974. The TV should have said, "tornado alert."
The first scene in the movie is said to take place in 1969 and has Gary England on the television warning of the tornado. But in 1969 England was actually working for a company called A.H. Glenn and Associates in New Orleans. He did not start working for KWTV until 1972.
(at around 33 mins) While chasing the first tornado, the team obviously turns onto a dirt road (all the dirt flying up as they turn). When Jo's truck drops in front of Melissa driving the red truck and she swerves out of the way, the tires make squealing noises as if they were on a paved road.
It was in fact a paved road/highway, it is common in flood plains to have gravel and dirt accumulate at intersections as was indicated when they initially turned onto the road.
(at around 4 mins) In the opening scene, when Jo's family is in the cellar, her father tries to hold the door shut, and ends up getting consumed by the tornado. Jo and her mother, despite the door being torn off, remain unaffected by the tornado. Thus it was unnecessary for the father to try to hold the door shut, as he also could have been safe had he simply stayed away from the door.
(at around 38 mins) When Bill says the tornado is about to shift directions to the left, he and Jo are driving side by side with Jonas. Bill hits his brakes and Jonas's team passes him completely. When Bill puts the truck into reverse and starts backing up, Jonas's team passes him again.
(at around 54 mins) In the truck after leaving Aunt Meg's house, Bill says to Jo "Let's wire you up." She is already "wired," with a headset round her neck. Her wiring disappears in the next cut, allowing Bill to replace it.
(at around 1h 35 mins) When the farm machinery is being thrown about and lands in front of Bill, and Jo shouts "We have debris!" the last piece of machinery has an arm that breaks the windshield in front of Jo. In all of the scenes after, the windshield is intact.
(at around 1h 35 mins) As the truck enters the house (which is on its side) the interior shot shows the truck smashing through the front door, driving up a flight of stairs, and then leaving through an upstairs window. In the next shot, the truck is coming out through what appears to be the kitchen area.
When Jo looks at the Dodge Ram's speedometer, the fuel gauge shows the tank is 1/4 full and the odometer is 021.2 miles with no other warning indicators, after Bill floors it, the fuel gauge shows the tank is completely full and the odometer is 119.3 miles and the "Air Bag" warning indicator is shown.
At the start of the film Jo's yellow Jeep is a 1981 or later
model. But the Jeep that Bill drives into the ditch and hits the bridge with is a 1980 or earlier model. The earlier Jeeps had a swept forward "visor" above the windshield.
(at around 1h 5 mins) The drive-in theater plays two scenes from The Shining out of sequence. When we first see the screen it is at the part when Danny sees the girls standing in the hallway. Five minutes later it is near the end when Jack is breaking down the door with an axe. These two scenes occur an hour apart.
(at around 35 mins) When Jo's truck falls down to the ground after the first tornado, the driver-side window is smashed from the tornado, but in the next shot Jo has to break the same window open to retrieve a towel.
(at around 11 mins) When Bill turns to the last page of the divorce papers, a red signature tag can be seen. But when he shows Jo the papers, there are no tags present. When he hands the papers to Jo, there are now two tags on the page.
(at around 1h 1 min) When Jo and Bill are in the truck on top of the hill, a row boat flies over them, knocking the tailgate of Bill's truck off. When they are driving towards the F-5, the tailgate is back.
(at around 25 mins) When Melissa is getting into the car with the lemonade, she puts it on the top of the car. As she drives off, the cups come tumbling down and nothing spills. One "blows" in the wind. Where is the lemonade?
(at around 30 mins) When Jo and Bill are arguing before they go off the road, a pair of safety goggles are hanging on a hook behind Bill. He goes off the road, swerves back on the road, and the goggles disappear. Moments later the goggles are back on the hook.
(at around 24 mins) When everyone is leaving the truck stop for the first twister chase, the yellowish-brown bus leaves first. Moments later it's still in its parking spot. Then it follows the rest of the crew out.
(at around 41 mins) During the first twister chase when the camera cuts between inside and outside views of the truck with Billy and Jo, the amount of rain on the windshield goes from lots (view into cab) to virtually none (view out from cab).
(at around 35 mins) While Jo talks to Bill and Melissa over her overturned Jeep, Bill and Melissa are standing at the driver's side rear of Bill's truck. In a successive shot, they suddenly are standing at the middle of the rear of Bill's truck, then back at the driver's side rear again.
(at around 1h 35 mins) When Jo and Bill are running from the F-5 past the fence, we see a shot of the boards being sucked up one by one. In a shot a few seconds later, we see a complete fence behind them, which then has its boards sucked up in a similar manner.
(at around 1h 26 mins) As Haynes picks up a sensor to work on, her hand is covered with a tan glove. When she pushes past Dusty with her handful of completed sensors, the glove is visible on her left hand, and her right hand is bare. When she dumps the sensors into the bin, both hands are bare.
(at around 1h 13 mins) As the crew are running into the mechanic's shed at the Drive-in, Jo stops to pull Laurence out of a parked pickup truck and runs with him into the oil-changing pit in the shed, where she sits next to him. After "Preacher" is hit on the forehead by the flying hubcap, Jo rushes to him and presses her hand to his forehead wound to stop the blood flow. As the scene jumps back and forth between shots of Bill, Melissa, and Jo, Jo's position alternates from sitting next to Laurence to holding her hand against "Preacher's" forehead in several shots.
(at around 49 mins) When everyone is at Aunt Meg's house and they're explaining the Fujita scale to Melissa by telling her that a tornado is rated on how much it eats, Melissa repeats "Eats?" and her right hand jumps from under her chin to the table in between shots.
(at around 1h) Before Bill says "ok she's almost ready", you can clearly see through the back window and the windshield is already cracked by the trike. In the next few moments, Bill tells Jo to stop and the trike hits the windshield again and it's cracked again.
(at around 1 min) When the camera pans down to young Jo Harding's house during the monster tornado, the trees and windmill are moving in the wind. But in the next scenes, the windmill is absolutely still even though the trees continue to sway.
(at around 1h 26 mins) Towards the end Preacher is driving with Aunt Meg's dog in the front seat. In the next scene, in a different vehicle, team members are attaching the "wings" to the sensors. Under the board they are working on you can see the same dog.
(at around 56 mins) When heading from Aunt Megs to intercept the next tornado, Bill says that they are on Route 33. Without an apparent change in road, Rabbit says shortly after that they are on Route 7.
(at around 8 mins) When Bill gets out of the truck for the first time, at the beginning of the movie, he doesn't shut the door on the truck. However, a few lines later, when he introduces Melissa to Dusty, the door is shut.
(at around 24 mins) After Melissa asked Bill "Where are we going?", we see her standing 15 to 20 feet away from her vehicle with the car facing the cornfield, in the next shot, we see her standing 3 feet away from her vehicle with the car facing the road.
(at around 36 mins) When the camera shows Bill's truck's speedometer at 50MPH, the air bag light is not on and the truck has about a half tank of fuel. Seconds later when Bill floors it, the air bag light is on and the truck has nearly a full tank of fuel.
(at around 1h 30 mins) Right before the fuel truck fell from the sky and hit Bill's truck, Jo and Bill both have their windows down. When they drive through the explosion and come out the other side, both of the windows are rolled up.
When Bill and Jo are strapped to the water pipes in the final twister scene, after the tornado passes and they are back on the ground, one of their leather straps are already broken. In this condition it never would have held itself on that pipe, let alone an average sized human being.
In the first few seconds of the movie, there's a landscape shot of a fence. Right in front of the fence there's a little piece of grass blowing in the wind, and it's just so obvious that they looped the 1 second to make it last 5 seconds, because the grass keeps jumping back and forth. Minor but annoying.
When we see Melissa at Aunt Meg's house, she is in the same 3-piece white suit she's been wearing since the start of the movie and it is still spotless - even after Bill, dirty, muddy and wet from the first tornado, hugs her.
During the last tornado scene, one of the team members says "they're going to punch the core" as Bill and Joe turn right off the road towards the F5. If you look ahead of their truck above the cornfield there is no sign of the F5 they turned apparently towards.
(at around 4 mins) When Jo's dad holds down the storm cellar door, the windows are completely perfect. After he says "I can't hold it any more!" the second time, the window is broken open in the next shot (with no indication of debris flying in).
After the last tornado that passes directly over them, of F5 intensity, immediately afterwards, Helen Hunt still has her lightweight headphones casually draped around her neck. A stiff breeze could have blown them off, but not an F5 tornado?
When the good group is chasing the tornado, the bad group is following them (watching for skid marks on turns, etc.) anyway, the bad guys see skid marks at a turn about 10ft in front of them. They would have to turn immediately and they would still barely make the turn. The camera goes off the road and shows the driver's "what do I do?" expression for about 3 seconds, then the camera goes back on the road and the turn is the same distance away. In reality they would have passed the turn and been about 20 ft past it by then.
(at around 1h 13 mins) In the auto shop outside the drive-in movie theatre, the pickup truck is hit by a flying car, and one side of the truck falls into the service pit. In the next scene, the same truck falls into the pit again.
(at around 1h 30 mins) As Bill and Jo are trying to get unstuck from the tree in the Dodge Ram as the Tanker truck is headed towards them (hurled by the tornado), you can see the rear tires on the truck spinning. The first shot of the tires has them being white lettered Good Year Wranglers. The next shot they are blackwalls.
(at around 1h 21 mins) When Meg's house has collapsed, Dusty runs up the roof calling for Meg. He reaches the window and the scene cuts to Jo and Bill helping Meg in the basement. When the scene goes back to the window, Meg is clearly seen standing on the roof outside the window next to Dusty in her nightgown. The scene later shows Dusty and another character helping Meg climb out the same window and onto the roof.
(at around 46 mins) When Jo asks that a space be cleared at the table for Melissa to sit down, Aunt Meg can be seen placing a bowl of gravy in front of Rabbit. But when Jo then slides a steak onto Melissa's plate a few seconds later, Meg is still making her way to the table with the bowl.
(at around 1h 26 mins) After Haynes places sensors in the box, the next shot shows dark and stormy clouds with Bill and Jo nearly a few inches from the F5. In the next scene, they stop to fill up the two Dorothy's on the bridge in bright sunrise. The next scene after that, it appears that Jo and Bill return to the same shot as it was before, a few inches from the F5. A mistake in film making, repeated shots accidentally or just recycled to be used in other scenes.
(at around 59 mins) When they attempt to deploy Dorothy II, Bill spends at least a few minutes in the back of the truck turning on various switches and getting it setup. (at around 1h 35 mins) However, when they are getting Dorothy IV setup, Jo just pops her head through the back of the truck and turns one switch, and the comes back and says it's ready.
During the big falling debris scene, Paxton and Helen Hunt are in the red truck. The truck hits a combine auger. The impact damages the windshield, and it is broken, but a second later the windshield is perfect and untouched.
When the cow blows by the truck, the truck is driving down an empty dirt road with water on both sides. During the shots of the occupants, the road behind the truck is paved and dry. Also in one of these rear shots a truck (Red Chevrolet Blazer) drives by in the opposite direction.
When the telephone pole falls on the truck, you see Dorothy get thrown off the bed and the tailgate gets broken off along with it. A couple of scenes later, the tailgate is back and hanging there like it was untouched, and the pole is no longer there.
When Bill and Jo are going through the house, the house is on its side horizontally. When they are crashing through the rooms though, the rooms are vertical. Also, in the same scene, you can clearly see them going up the stairs to the second floor. When they burst out, they are magically back down on the first floor. Right after that, the windshield is all cracked. A second later, it's perfectly fine.
After leaving Aunt Meg's the first time, Jo and Bill are in the red truck. Bill says, "Ok, let's get you wired." When Jo looks over at him you can see that she already has the headphones around her neck. Then they cut to Bill and when he goes to put the headphones on her neck is bare.
When Jo's crew is having their little steak snack at Aunt Meg's, we see Preacher watching TV. There's a good shot of the top of the television set and there are NO walkie-talkies on top. Yet when they hear about another tornado, they all jumped up and grab their walkie-talkies off the top of the TV.
When Jo's truck is lifted by the first tornado they encounter, it is dropped on the road in front of the red dodge driven by Bill's fiancée. When we see the truck drop, the drivers window is closed. As the dodge swerves to avoid hitting the other truck, the window is now opened. And finally, in the last shot where everyone is running to her aide, the window is closed again.
When they're in the town with the drive-in movie, we see Melissa in her motel room crawling up onto the bed towards her pillow. You can see she has shoes on but no socks. We see her twirling her engagement ring around on her finger, then see her use the remote to turn the TV off. She watches the curtains blow for a minute and then she walks out of her motel room. She has on white socks. Then as she runs to grab Billy's hand, she has on black socks.
At the beginning, when the guy comes back to have Jo sign the divorce papers, He says "you missed one", and you can clearly see a red tab on the paper that she missed. In the next seen it's gone and in the next it's back again.
In the scene where Bill is trying to catch up with Jonas, right after Bill stops the truck, we see a long shot of Jonas's storm chasing crew passing Bill's truck, a side road can be seen on the right side of the road. But when Bill puts the truck in reverse and turns onto the side road it's now on the left side (there never was a side road visible on the left side in the long shot).
After Jo and Bill are stuck from the tree under the truck, they begin to drive and almost get hit with debris. As Jo's yelling "right" "left" the truck gets hit with the auger from a combine and puts a hole in the windshield, you can hear glass break and see the hole. From the next shot on you don't see any hole.
At the beginning of the movie, the first time we see Jo's and her parents' house, there are several fairly close-up shots showing the porch and yard. These scenes are clearer during the flashes of lightning. There is nothing in the yard, close to the right side of the porch (as we are looking at it) except tall grass and a few small bushes right next to the porch. When the family comes out of the house to go to the cellar, there is a good-sized, red toy tractor sitting in the yard now.
When they make their pit stop at the BBQ diner Bill is outside with Dusty and says, "we're going green". The sky is dark and green. When Jo comes out and they're ready to go a few minutes later, the sky is almost sunny and it's suddenly partly cloudy.
When Bill and Jo are chased by the first tornado, a frontward shot shows them about 50 yards away from the wooden structure, while traveling at about 75 MPH according to the speedometer shot earlier. They continue driving for several seconds after this.
When Jo's truck lands in the road, right after which Jonas' crew drives by, if you look quickly, you can see that the driver side (the truck was upside down) window is gone. Yet, when Jo goes to get her backpack out, she has to kick that window out.
When the red truck is driving to the tornado where the sensors spill, the scenery and pavement change between shots. First, they are driving down a road with trees on both sides. Then, they are driving down a large empty area where you can see the the horizon. Finally, they drive into a valley with forests on both sides. And this happens in a matter of seconds.
When Bill and Melissa go out to get the divorce papers from Jo, we see Bill pull his truck up with Rabbit and Allan's truck (hood up) in the background. We see it closer up when Bill asks Dusty, "Where's Jo?" But when the scene comes back to Bill and Dusty and then shows Melissa, Rabbit, Allan and the truck have disappeared. When Dusty is holding Melissa's hand and walking to sit in his chairs, Rabbit & co. are in the background again.
When Bill and Jo are driving up the hill, there is a shot of Jo driving, and you can see the windshield is already cracked. In the next shot when the debris of that jumper tornado is shown the windshield is perfect.
When Bill is walking over to see Jo for the first time, he passes Joey working on the hood of a truck that was previously shown in front of the blue Doppler van and next to the green tractor. Throughout this sequence, this taupe/brown pickup with camper flops back and forth between the two places. Lawrence finally drives it off.
After the pitstop, when Jo's team and Jonas's team have the encounter, Jo's team takes off to chase another tornado. When we hear Dusty holler, "Hey you guys, woohoo," we see Jo reach for the CB and dial from channel 22 to 18. But when Bill says, "Shi_," Jo reaches down to adjust the CB and the channel showing is 39.
When Jo and Bill are traveling in the ditch during the tornado they show them hitting the bridge from the front and then they change the angle to the passenger side (Jo's side) and they show them hitting the bridge again.
During a scene in the middle they drive the red Dodge solo into the hills to face a twister. As they bail out they find that they can't free the "Dorothy" from the back of the truck, so they have to run for it. As they look back they watch power poles start blowing up. Finally the one next to the truck goes and falls across the bed of the truck, smashing Dorothy onto the roadway and spilling the sensors. As they come back to the truck, because the twister has disappeared, they realise the twister is "jumping" and pile into the truck for their escape. The power pole is no longer resting across the truck and there is no damage to the bed.
When Bill and Jo are in the yellow pick-up going after the first tornado, there is a yellow raincoat with a visible metal snap hanging from a hook mounted on the rear window directly behind Jo. As the scene progresses, it moves to a position higher up and off the window when Jo says, "We're moving to intercept, guys. Get ready to set up." Then Bill gets off the road and down into the ditch, right before Bill says, "Are we having fun yet?" the raincoat is back hanging from the hook on the window behind Jo in a different position (no snap visible).
At the roadside restaurant, when Bill first sees Jonas' version of Dorothy, we see it from Bill's perspective. You can see that the panels in DOT's top are open. In the next shot, Jonas is discussing DOT with the press and the top is closed then opens as he describes the sensors.
In the opening scene, where Jo is very young and her dad and mom are carrying her and running from the house to enter the storm shelter, the tornado is just 60 seconds or so from destroying their house and sucking Jo's dad away. If you look at the trees behind them as they are running, you can see the trees are barely moving from any wind at all. If a real tornado was that close, the trees would be half bent over from the 60-100+ mph wind.
When the truck gets stuck on the tree, Bill puts it in reverse and floors it. We see the rear tire going backwards and smoking. Then Jo looks at it and we see the tire again. It is now going forwards and burning rubber, before the next shot where Bill slams the truck back in drive.
In the opening scenes, up to the first tornado, Bill's Dodge has a matching red cap on the bed. After Jo's Jeep is totaled, the cap is taken off to secure Dorothy II. The cap is not seen in the back of any other vehicle, which means it was either discarded on the side of the road or poorly written out of the script.
The scene towards the end with the team traveling across a river bridge with the sun low on the horizon is incorrectly referred to as a sunset. This would be a sunrise, as the events of this movie take place within less than 24 hours from start to finish.
After Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt chase the first tornado they switch to Bill's new truck. They look at the speedometer once then they look at again about 3 seconds later and the odometer is hundreds of miles different than it was only 3 seconds before. Furthermore, the truck has gained a quarter gas tank in a blink and has the airbag warning light turned on.
During the first tornado, Beltzer says the twister is about three miles away. You later see Bill turn the truck off the road directly onto that dirt path, not ten yards away. The tornado then arrives and sucks Jo's truck into the air. After the tornado, Melissa is driving along and says, "Oh my God" as the tornado disappears, back to about three miles away.
Towards the beginning of the movie when Melissa goes on the chase after they leave Meg's, she is under an umbrella with her hair dry. They cut away go back, she is drenched, cut away go back she is soaked, go back again, she is wet.
When we see the dog Mose in the movie he looks very young (2-3 years old). But in the scene when Bill and Joe's storm chasers crew watches Jonas's van gets picked up by the F5 tornado, the dog Mose has aged 5-6 years (when dogs age the fur around the face turns white).
About halfway through the film, when they all take shelter in the garage near the drive in movie, when the 'Drive In Movie' sign goes crashing through the garage wall you can clearly see a large metal chain pulling it through.
When Bill is going over the divorce papers, he comes to the page missing Jo's signature. It only has one red arrow near top right. When he hands it to Jo, she starts looking at it, then flips up page to look at others, and the missing signature page is a completely different page with two red arrows, one toward the top and another, on the right, toward the bottom.
In the first sequence, they family is in the house with the child in bed. It looks to be night. When they run from the house to the shelter, they scatter a flock of chickens. Chickens don't go outside after dark... Even during eclipses and such...
(at around 55 mins) As Jo drives Bill's truck out of the corn field and almost hits Jonas' truck, the top half of a crew member's body can be seen, just above the driver's side mirror, across the street poking out of the corn.
Just before a twister strikes the Jo's aunt's farm, the windmill artwork in the yard starts to move. In the upper right corner of the scene, a hand can be seen turning one of the windmills. [widescreen only]
When they are trapped in the garage and the tornado is whipping through, if you look real close when the debris is falling on them you can see (very quickly) a crew member throwing trash in the background.
Near the beginning of the movie when Bill and Mellisa are on their way to get the divorce papers signed, you can see the reflection on the passenger side window of the helicopter and the cameraman. A few shots later when the camera angle is in front of the Dodge, you can see a brief reflection of the brake lights from the camera truck in the rear window of the Dodge.
There's a shot late in the movie at Helen Hunt's Aunt's house - the camera shows all of her home made "wind chimes" blowing in the wind. As the camera pans in and shows a little man sawing or axing something, you see a human hand appear near the bottom of the screen as the camera leaves the scene.
In the scene where Billy and Jo go into Jo's aunt's house to rescue her after a tornado has gone through Wakita, they hear things falling. When they jump over a break in the floor, if you look closely, there is a crewman in a white shirt that runs across the gap.
When Melissa dodges the truck that has fallen from sky and Dusty rushes to open a door and help Melissa get out of the truck, the reflection of a camera is seen in the bottom right corner of the truck window. As they move out and pan to the right, you can see a reflection of the same camera and cameraman at the bottom right corner of the truck door as they move away.
When the twister is heading for the drive-in movie theater, as Bill is running towards the garage, you can easily see the shadow of the Steadicam operator and a grip guy on the ground about 2 feet away from Bill's shadow.
After leaving Wakita, Bill and Jo are driving through a cornfield. The cornfield merges into the main road and their truck almost runs into Jonas' fleet. As the truck enters the road, you can see a crew member poking his head up from the corn across the road. Watch above the driver's side mirror.
When the red Dodge truck stops spinning after the "sisters" tornado has gone, as the camera moves up the truck to focus on the occupants, you can see part of the camera rigging reflected on the truck wing/fender.
When Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt are driving up to Aunt Meg's house after the tornado has hit, you see a shot of the ruined home as they drive up. If you look carefully, you can see wires hanging coming out from the top of the house to keep it from collapsing until the filmmakers were ready.
When Helen's storm chasing crew begins to take shelter in the building, there is a shot of everyone running down the stairs to the basement. This shot shows Preacher run into something. It looks like a hand-held camera.
When Bill's fiance is driving over after the first tornado, when the truck lands, she swerves and she stops. As she is getting out, a camera is visible. When the camera backs up though, a crew-member pulling it back is visible in the door.
(at around 32 mins) When Jo and Bill are clinging to the bridge after driving her truck through the ditch, the twister "drops" into the ditch and follows it. This does not actually happen. The twister would have "jumped" over the ditch. This is why you are told to find low ground if you are outside when a tornado hits your area.
The last twister in the movie was classified and deemed an F-5, yet when it hits the farm where Jo and Bill are strapped to the pipe, about a third of the barn is still standing and the house can be seen more or less fully intact. F-5 level tornadoes can and will violently hurl entire wood frame structures from their foundations and even heavily damage steel reinforced concrete buildings. Therefore, in actuality, the entire ranch; house, barn, and all, should have been swept down to the ground. Also, survival in an F-5 tornado tied to a pipe is very unlikely as debris, especially flying wood splinters and glass at that speed can shred clothes and skin and cause potentially fatal injury.
The movie often acts as though only the funnel cloud of a tornado is dangerous. In reality, the funnel cloud is just the center of the tornado, around which debris can still dangerously swirl. This error is often indirectly averted, however, as demonstrated by the famous Flying Cow sequence.
(at around 1h 40 mins) During the climax Jo and Bill get inside the F5 tornado and there is one smaller funnel circulating inside the debris of the large funnel. A wedge tornado of that size and intensity would most likely be a 'multi-vortex tornado' with 2 or more smaller funnels or vortices spinning inside.
When they are at Aunt Meg's the first time, they get word that a tornado has been spotted and somehow they already know its rating. Tornadoes get their ratings from the amount of damage they do. This is determined after the tornado is gone.
(at around 2 mins) At the start of the movie, when the family runs for the storm shelter, they run through a flock of chickens. The scene is set in the middle of the night long after chickens would be "roosting".
(at around 2 mins) In the opening scene, Jo and her family rush outside of the house to get to their cellar. Farmhouses in severe weather prone regions such as Oklahoma, where the film takes place, have been designed since the 19th century with the destructive nature of tornadoes taken into account. Therefore, the family would have been able to enter the cellar from inside the house and not have to be outside when the storm is approaching. Moreover, for the same reason, the cellar doors would have much more durable locks and hinges than those of Jo's cellar door.
(at around 28 mins) While Bill and Jo are arguing in her truck en route to the reported location of a twister, Belzter and Haynes are seen laughing while listening in on them. This would not have been possible unless the mic was keyed the entire time, which would also make Beltzer's call to them that he had spotted the twister impossible to hear.
(at around 5 mins) The GOES-8 meteorological satellite shown at the beginning of the film is incorrectly oriented: the onboard sensors should be pointed toward the earth in order for it to function (ie, obtain weather photography), instead, it was shown as facing the audience. In the film, the spacecraft's solar sail boom is shown pointed at the earth, when in fact it should pointed in the general direction of the earth's south pole.
(at around 25 mins) When Dusty is playing Deep Purple's "Child In Time", the video that is playing during that song is of Deep Purple playing at the 1974 California Jam Festival, at which "Child In Time" was not played.
Near the beginning, when we see Bill and Jo in Jo's truck driving in an off-road ditch being "chased" by a tornado, there is a shot where we see the tornado dismantle a barn. In real life, you wouldn't be able to see it dismantle the barn board by board. The tornado would actually cover the barn, and when it leaves, you would see the barn in desolation.
(at around 25 mins) The video Dustin Davis is watching during the first tornado chase scene is supposed to be Deep Purple's recording of "Child in Time" from their "Made in Japan" album. In fact, no film or video recording of this concert exists.
In one scene one of the chasers gets out of his vehicle after a tornado dissipated and says, "The cone of silence!". This is not a physical thing one witnesses, but is simply that part of the sky which the radar does not sample since it does not tilt vertically when it scans. That missing area is conical in shape. He misused the term.
In the beginning when Jo's dad is bringing the family downstairs and say's "TV says it's big, might be an F-5" That scene was set in 1969. In reality he would not have known anything about an F-5 or any tornado with an F rating because the Fujita scale was not developed until 1971.
When Jo and Bill drive through the house pictures are still on the wall, a chair is still upright and the towels are still hanging perfectly on the rack in the bathroom. Pretty cool considering the house had just been tumbling through a field.
In the last scenes when Bill and Jo are in the shed with the water pipes, the shed is torn apart by wind as well as flying debris at hundreds of miles per hour. I have watched the scene numerous times and there is not so much as a scratch on their faces. Even if they lived, they would have been battered and bloody from debris. Regardless if tornadoes do weird things, the debris ripped the shed apart, which is stronger than a human body.
While strapped down, the winds would not keep Jo and Bill in one place. It should have whipped them around like a tether ball. With wind at that speed, they shouldn't have been able to breathe or keep their eyes open. Plus, the debris inside should have cut them to ribbons.
The characters repeatedly refer to the tornadoes they see as F1, F2, etc. However, it's impossible to tell while a tornado is in progress what level on the Fujita scale the storm will be as it's measured by the damage it does, which cannot be gauged until the storm is over and a damage survey is performed.
(at around 1h 35 mins) When Bill and Jo jump out of the Dodge, Bill set the cruise control. Most cruise controls will not set unless going 25 to 30 mph. They could not have jumped out at that speed with the corn slamming up against the doors.
(at around 1h 27 mins) As soon as the crew attaches "propellers" to all of the sensors, they pass boxes of winged sensors from person to person, ending at Bill. He dumps the first box of sensors into Dorothy. Quite a few sensors fall out of Dorothy, which is full. Bill then dumps at least two more full boxes of sensors into Dorothy; however, since adding wings to the sensors adds mass to them, it is impossible to put all of the sensors into the compartment (as seen earlier, the compartment was full of wingless sensors) without spillover.
(at around 1h 12 mins) When the storm chasers are hiding in the pit from the drive-in tornado, they do not duck down until the windows are broken out and are in fact looking up out of the pit. Any seasoned storm chaser would have known that in that situation they should have immediately hunkered down with their hands over their heads huddle as close as they could to the walls considering a tornado was almost on top of them.
Bill drives the truck through a house that is turned on its side. Once driving it, the truck drives through a staircase. Whether it is going up or down is impossible to determine, since it is already at the wrong angle (up-down instead of side-to-side), given that the house is turned over. On the other end, the truck emerges from the house at ground level, despite the change of elevation on the inside.
In the scene when Bill and Joe are about to deploy Dorothy 2, we see that the tornado (F-2 I believe) rips out an entire row of power poles high into the sky with the power lines still attached to the poles straight from the ground. In real life, when a tornado runs over power poles, it would only knock them down.
(at around 1h 11 mins) In the drive-in scene, when Jo runs into the garage pit, you can clearly see a police car with its lights on stopping in the driveway, in terms the car would've been in the tornado's path and it would've possibly been destroyed. In reality during a tornado, police would've taken cover at the station and then respond to any injuries/deaths after the storm has passed.
(at around 1h 40 mins) During the entire F5 chase, the sky is really dark and cloudy. But when the tornado disappears and when the crew shows up, the sky is instantly clear blue and sunny. Big storms like this actually take a little while to disappear and clear up.
Paxton and Hunt drive their truck toward the twister in a corn field, they jump out of the truck and then start running for it. Have you ever run in a corn field? You can't run in a corn field that has stalks that high, they would cut you to shreds. They would have been bleeding on the faces and hands and arms if they were wearing short sleeve shirts. If you enter a corn field, you must move with the rows - you cannot cross rows because the stalks are just like small trees and they are maybe six inches apart.
We all know that when any tornado is on the ground and/or near moving towards us, things get blown around, like trees, grass, and other things. There are two things that I found that didn't look right. It's in the scene when the F-5 tornado is chasing Bill and Joe to the Barn. First the grass and cornfield are moving but not the trees. And second, when the tornado blows away the brown picket fence we see most of the pickets shoot upwards, which is impossible because they are nailed to horizontal boards. It would either take a far stronger wind than they're currently in to rip the pickets straight up, or the pickets were made out of far cheaper wood than they appear to be.
When the team is attempting to intercept the second tornado, Bill floors the gas pedal in the Dodge Ram after Jo expresses disgust at how slow he's driving. The next shot shows the dashboard, where the speedometer moves from 50-70 MPH, the engine is heard accelerating in the background, but the tachometer stays around 1500 RPM. The truck is an automatic and so it would have downshifted when Bill pressed the accelerator to the floor, and therefore revved much higher.
(at around 1h 11 mins) In the scene where the drive-in is destroyed by a large tornado, when the tornado is first shown it appears to be a half-mile wide wedge tornado (commonly regarded as being a violent tornado). The size of the tornado suddenly shrinks as it begins to destroy the screen that The Shining is playing on to being only roughly the width of the screen itself. When the tornado is shown again, after Jo, Bill and their crew take shelter in the steel garage the size reverts back to being wider than the screen itself. But tornadoes can and do quickly grow or shrink in size.
(at around 1h 14 mins) As the Galaxy Theatre sign is flying through the air, there appears to be a cable attached to the arrow's point, pulling the sign into the garage. However, this is actually one of the rods with neon stars on it that can previously be seen while the sign is standing.
(at around 1h 30 mins) When Jo and Bill are driving out of the explosion from the tanker truck, you can clearly see Jo taking off a fire resistant suit through the front window of the truck. In the next scene she's in the shirt she was wearing before heading through the fire.
(at around 1h 9 mins) When Melissa wanders out of her room just before the drive-in is destroyed, the curtains are flapping violently inside the room, ostensibly due to the wind coming up from the approaching tornado. But the tall juniper tree just outside her door is motionless.
(at around 1h 35 mins) While the truck is being driven through the house, there is a quick shot where a chair is still sitting upright, against the wall, even though the house had just been rolling and ended up on it's side.
(at around 37 mins) When the Dodge Ram pickup's speedometer is shown for the first time after Bill floors the accelerator, the "Air Bag" light is on. This was to facilitate driving the truck through the house later in the movie without the chance of the airbag firing.
When Bill Bill Paxton is chasing the crew to get the divorce papers scene, he is run off the road and presumably has a flat tire. In the next seen he is at a repair shop taking the flat tire out of the truck. When the tire hits the ground it bounces, a flat tire wouldn't bounce.
As the camera is viewing the damage path of the F5, fragments of the farm and debris at the end, Bill's Truck is simply nowhere to be seen. The tornado sucked up the truck as well, and the truck could have been seen with everything scattered around the farm. The truck is probably still flying through the air.
(at around 31 mins) When Bill and Jo are driving in the ditch they are traveling 75mph. When they crash into the bridge there's no sustained injury, despite a head on collision at freeway speed in a 70's truck with no air bags or crumple zone.
The goof items below may give away important plot points.
(at around 1h 40 mins) In the last scene, when Jo and Bill are in the twister, the tornado suddenly disappears and boards from the barn smash down to the ground. In the next scene, Jo and Bill are sitting happily on the ground, completely unharmed, with no sharp equipment in sight.
(at around 1h 45 mins) In the final scene, the headset is around Jo's neck, then not around her neck, then back on again. When she's wearing the headset, her hair is wet and stuck to her forehead. When she's not wearing the headset, her hair is not as wet.
(at around 1h 35 mins) When Jo and Bill drive through the house and the truck drives up the stairs, the right head light pops out. The head light is still out when they exit through the window. The head light is back in position and is working when Jo and Bill turn into the corn field.
(at around 1h 13 mins) When Preacher's head is sliced by the flying hubcap, a quick closeup of Jo shows that she has a bloody wound on one of her knuckles. When she reaches over to cover Preacher's wound, Jo's wound has disappeared.
(at around 1h 40 mins) At the end, when Bill and Jo are in the "well shed", the shed, including electric pole, gets sucked away yet, there is water shooting from the well. The well would have lost its prime as soon as it lost electricity. It should not have been still working.
(at around 1h 40 mins) At the end, Bill and Jo are exposed to the full force of an F-5 tornado and escape relatively unscathed. In reality, it is highly likely that they would suffer concussions and lacerations from flying debris, eye problems from windborne particles, and having their clothes torn from their bodies by the high wind, if they survived at all.
(at around 1h 35 mins) Cruise control only takes control of the acceleration. As soon as Bill and Jo jump out of the Dodge Ram, the truck is driving perfectly straight at the F5. Cruise control does not take control of the steering too. However since corn is planted in rows with long trenches between the rows the wheels of the pickup could have easily followed the rows in a straight line..
At around 1h34m, just after Jonas is killed, you see a scene of the F5 Tornado approaching a farm vehicle distributor, with a windmill in the lot, but the windmill vane is pointing away from the tornado, which is wrong. Tornadoes are low pressure zones, and therefore wind rushes toward them (As seen from the corn in the fields leaning toward the tornado). The vane on a windmill is always behind the fan blades, to ensure the fan is receiving an unobstructed airflow, and in periods of high winds the vane is feathered (turned so the fan blades face sideways to the wind and therefore don't spin). So even if the windmill isn't feathered, the tail vane should be towards the tornado, until it gets really close, at which time it will move to the right, away from the tornado winds (since it's rotating clockwise) until it's destroyed.