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.
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.
In the opening scene, Joe's father warns his family that the TV reports that the "twister might be an F5". If this is 1969, then this is an anachronism, as the Fujita scale wasn't introduced to the meteorological community as a valid scale by Theodore Fujita until 1971.
At the start of the movie, when Jo's dad tells the family to get to the storm cellar he tells them that the tornado could be an F5. It was 1969 at the time, the Fujita Scale wasn't introduced until 1973.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
When Jo, Bill and Melissa set out on a single lane gravel road across a dam to chase a "twin tornado", the camera angle cuts to a shot looking back over their shoulders out the left hand side of the car. From that angle, they're on a two lane highway with traffic going the other way.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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?
Just before driving through the house, Bill and Joe try to evade a farm vehicle that's in the way. They don't make it completely and the left side of the windshield is destroyed. In all the subsequent shots the glass is OK again.
When Bill prepares Dorothy (for the failed launch), he has to get completely out of the cab of the vehicle and pushes many buttons and turns knobs. When Jo does the same set up, she only sits on the edge of the window and pushes three buttons.
After Jo looks at the Dodge Ram's speedometer, and sighs that Bill is only driving 50MPH, shortly after, shots include Jonas' convoy, without the mobile home that includes the Doppler radar other equipment. In the next shot, Bill is passing the convoy and the first vehicle passed is the mobile home that was not in the previous shot.
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.
The drive-in theater plays two scenes from The Shining (1980) 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.
In the scene where 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 it's boards sucked up in a similar manner.
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.
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) about 90 minutes into the movie, 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.
During the scene at the Drive-in, as the crew are running into the mechanic's shed, 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 would 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (1980) 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.
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.
While Bill and Jo are running (driving) from the first bad tornado, a house falls into the road in front of them, and one of them yells, "We're goin' in!" As they crash through the walls of the house in the truck, in one room there is a chair, above the truck in frame, standing as it should be, in place, even though the house has been blown through the sky and the floor is at a steep angle. The chair doesn't even move when the truck crashes through the room.
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.
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.
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.
The goof items below may give away important plot points.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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. In reality, with all of that tall corn bumping around the truck, it will cause the truck to turn left or right and not drive straight into the tornado.