When the people are illegally entering Mexico by cutting away the fence there is a freight train in the background with caboose on the end of it, but in fact U.S. railroads replaced cabooses with "FRED" (flashing rear end device) back in the mid 1980s.
After the helicopter crashes and the soldier exits the side door, he puts his fingers on the door jamb, then lifts them off the surface. At those temperatures the fingers would immediately freeze onto the metal on contact.
When LA is destroyed by the tornados, we see the man in the weather building looking out the window at the Manhattan skyline. The same image is shown a few minutes lather when Jake Gyllenhaal looks out of his New York hotel window.
After the Global Warming Conference when Prof. Rapson is hailing the cab, he removes his fingers from his mouth before the whistle is finished. That type of whistle requires fingers to remain in the mouth.
Quaid's character is looking at a satellite photo of a large storm over Scotland and mentions it looks like a hurricane. The female scientist then adds: "Except hurricanes don't form over land." Scotland is a narrow point of land on an island. With a storm of that size, the United Kingdom's islands would not nearly be enough land mass to stop it from forming.
During a meeting with his cabinet, the President stands and leaves, yet everyone seated at the table remains seated. White House protocol requires that when the President stands up, so does everyone else.
In a scene where a reporter is speaking of people going to Mexico to escape the storm, she says that people are fleeing "in the wake of the advancing storm". But "in the wake of" means following something, not preceding it.
In the shot where Jack Hall is explaining why the air coming out of the cyclone is so cold, the computer model of the low pressure system is spinning clockwise, not counter clockwise, as it should be in the northern hemisphere. Also in the starlit picture when the weatherman says that the low pressure systems resembles a "tropical hurricane" is also spinning clockwise.
Scientists are watching a UK football match between Celtic Glasgow and Manchester United. The commentator states that Celtic are the 'home team' but the match is being played at Old Trafford - Manchester United's stadium.
In the briefing scene with the President, Jack dramatically draws an evacuation line across the map of the United States. The line has been clearly redrawn. For the close up shots over Jack's shoulder.
When the cleaner looks under the door, the very bright light shining from under the bottom of the door lights up the wall behind him casting a strong silhouette shadow of him on the wall, But it doesn't light him up as bright. Then the shadow raises it's arms before the cleaner does revealing it's not his real shadow.
When Jack and his team finely reach NYC, one of his team falls through a glass skylight roof covering a mall. When Jack look down to his fallen team member he is lying over the hole looking down and in one scene the glass is supporting Jack with a iron support beam. In the next shot the beam is missing.
When Frank is hanging in the mall, and we see Jason supporting him on the glass, it appears that there is nothing other than the main roof supports holding him up. But in the close-up, there is a cross member holding up his weight.
When we see the last scene with the helicopters flying over we cannot see the ship that had drifted into the city. Even though we can see the snow has gotten deeper the ship's superstructure would still be tall enough to extend above the snow
When the first group of people are leaving the library, the homeless man is standing on a balcony watching them leave. In the next shot, Sam is trying to convince them not to leave while the homeless man sits near him.
When the mother and her child are stuck in the taxi, they bang on the door wanting to get out. The New York City police officer says that he can't understand them. With the water rising fast and a wall of water coming, he should have known what they were saying.
In the closing scene as the rescued students are flying in the
helicopter above Manhattan and see the other survivors coming to the rooftops, J.D. is on Brian's left when Laura looks out the window. When you see them again, J.D. is on Brian's right.
When the Capitol Records building is first shown in closeup, there is a tornado striking the building and tearing parts of the building away. The next long shot of the building has the tornado several blocks away and no damage to the building. The next closeup again shows the tornado destroying the building.
When the homeless man is standing by the front door to J.D.'s penthouse, in the background the taxi cab sitting behind the blue Chevrolet Impala has a police-style push bumper. In the immediate shot afterward where the Impala pulls forward slightly to reveal water gushing from the manhole, the push bumper is gone, and yet it is the same taxi cab.
When Sam is on the plane on the way to NY he is eating peanuts and the tray in front of him is covered with wrappers and loose peanuts. He is then told to put his tray up but makes no effort to remove the trash on the table.
Judith, the librarian, finds a room in the library and says that the fireplace probably hasn't been used in about a hundred years. If a fireplace hasn't been inspected in a hundred years that would be a major critical violation. A non-inspected chimney could have dirt, trash, dead animals and have cracks in it which would have caught the library to catch on fire.
When the wave hits New York, it comes at it from the Statue of Liberty and Battery Park. When we see it approach the library, it should be coming up Fifth Avenue, from Battery Park, but it comes from 41st St.
When the tsunami hits Manhattan, there is no sign of Brooklyn in the representation of New York harbor. In reality, the tsunami would be unlikely to reach Manhattan without striking Long Island first. Also, the shot of water flooding the avenues means the water turned 90 degrees after it first hit Manhattan.
During the hail scene in Japan, the one guy on the cell phone is hit by a hailstone. When the phone lands on the ground, it has Rogers and AT&T along the bottom of the phone. Rogers is a Canadian company and AT&T is American, both are not Japanese. Considering he's talking to someone about "going home from work" it is safe to assume he's Japanese and not Canadian or American.
During the Mexican US Embassy scene we see a building with several fixed satellite dishes. The angle of the dishes is far too low for a tropical (or almost tropical) location, they'd be pointing much higher in the sky.
At the end of the movie, the Vice-President is moved to the US Embassy in Mexico, which is actually in Mexico City in one of the busiest and most important avenues (Avenida Reforma). The US Embassy in the movie does not even closely resemble Mexico City, as it shows a hilly landscape with small poor houses around it. Later in the movie, the Vice President says he is addressing the nation from a foreign consulate (which is not the same thing as an Embassy).
It's stated that the temperature that froze the gas lines was -150 degrees F but when the pilot opens the door you can see his breath. At 90 degrees F below zero your breath will freeze and fall to the ground.
The penicillin aboard ship was found in solution. If in solution it should have been found frozen and it is clearly liquid when picked up. Normally penicillin is stored as a powder and reconstituted (by adding water or sterile sodium chloride solution) just prior to use. Penicillin in solution is not clear, it is a milky white color.
When Jack and Dash reach the library where Sam is taking refuge they initially can't find it. When they do discover Sam inside the fireplace is clearly lit. That means that smoke should have been visible from the outside. If the chimney was covered by snow, then smoke would have filled the room where the survivors are, yet there is none.
Hailstones are shown as plain clear chunks of ice. Because of the way that they form, hailstones are opaque balls of concentric layers of accumulated ice (like rings of a tree), or agglomerated lumps of smaller stones.
Several times during the film, including the British helicopter crash, and the penicillin retrieval from the cargo ship, characters are seen touching frozen metal with bare hands, yet the hands do not stick.
1:01:15 The scene shows the lobby of the library flooded with water - the water at the edge near the stairs is apparently starting to freeze. Since this is a sheltered spot, it would be the last spot to freeze since the ceiling would prevent radiative cooling, and the walls would slow down the convective (wind) cooling. The ice would freeze from the outside first.
During the British helicopter crash the survivor isn't wearing gloves which are required by military aviation laws also the style of helmet is not British military issue. Also the crew are wearing no cold weather clothing which is unusual as they were operating in snow over Scotland
The Union Flag shown on the RAF helicopter crews flight suits is incorrect. The Union Flag is not symmetrical. The red cross of St Patrick's Saltire is offset on the flag compared to the white cross of St. Andrew.
When the super cooled air hits the American flag, it immediately freezes in place, sticking straight out. This would not happen, even at extremely cold temperatures, unless the flag contained a great deal of moisture. With that amount of moisture, the flag would be limp, and not flying straight to begin with.
On the Trimble GPS Unit, the screen shown is the Satellite Screen, not the Map Screen, so every time the navigator was asked where they were, he could tell them how many satellites where being used, but not the location of the unit.
At the end, the helicopters have to have come from the most southern states, as the others have been evacuated. However, none of the helicopters would have had sufficient range to fly to New York and back without refueling.
Celtic Glasgow are shown wearing blue kits. Blue is the one color Celtic would never wear, as it is the home color of their arch-rivals Glasgow Rangers. This is corrected, in broadcasts on UK TV at least, although now they're solid green, rather than the traditional horizontal green and white stripes (the "hoops").
We are led to believe that the only global surveys of the weather available are through manual observations from the International Space Station. In reality there are several dedicated meteorological satellites in orbit around the Earth.
Commercial aircraft do not fly into thunderstorms. Approx. 16 minutes into the film the flight carrying the students to NYC is show flying into lightning illuminated c. nimbus clouds. Although these clouds can develop rather quickly, there were other routes available to that aircraft to take to maintain their rule of avoiding thunderstorms by at least 8 miles laterally. Rules in effect at the time the movie was made (and still do) virtually "require" separation from building Cumulonimbus Clouds by at least 10 nautical miles when below the altitude where water freezes (the Freezing Level) and 20 nautical miles separation when flying above the Freezing level.
It is said that wide parts of earth are covered under a several feet deep layer of snow and ice. The view from the space station shows wide white areas but the oceans are still blue. Since everything in the affected areas was said to be covered by thick ice and snow the oceans and seas would be white also making it hard to see what is landmass and what is water.
During the sequence with the three UK helicopters, they are depicted with three colours in the roundel, red, white and blue. All current military front line aircraft do not contain white in the roundel, only red and blue, pale or dark depending on the paint scheme.
In one scene in earth orbit, the space station appears to be tumbling out-of-control but the view from the observation portal the astronauts look through is steady. A space station would remain gyroscopically static in orbit unless acted upon by an outside force like gravity or a meteoric impact which was not depicted. The only other reason for a space station to spin would be to create artificial gravity, but the stations design does not indicate this would be the case.
When Jack Hall show his computer model of the storms, they are displayed on a Mercator Projection map of the world. This type of projection distorts the landmass the closer you get to the poles. However, the display of the storms on the map shows them as being round. If they were accurately projected onto the map, they should also be distorted.
The tail rotor on one helicopter is shown in close-up stopping while in flight. A second later, we see a wide shot and all three of the helicopters have their tail rotors turning. Additionally, the tail rotor is mechanically linked to the transmission, which is linked to the main rotor. The tail rotor will always turn when the main rotor is turning.
In the final shot the space station is moving across the screen with the Earth in the background. Midway through the camera pulls back dramatically and we see the Earth recede into the distance, while the station continues its journey across the screen, changing neither speed nor size. The inference is that the space station has instantaneously moved away from the Earth with a rate of acceleration that would allow it to achieve galactic escape velocity (speeds of over 1000 km/s). The space station should have receded along with the Earth into the distance.
When the North American storm is seen over Canada from space, one of the astronauts from the space station takes a picture of it to send to Houston. Jack Hall and his team see the picture and thinks that it looks just like a hurricane. Only they don't form over land. Most of the characters including the meteorologist mentions that they look like hurricanes. They are actually in fact called polar vortexes or vertices. Also known as Northeasters. It happens when more than one snowstorm or blizzard form in a fast circular motion. It also causes the air to be super cold, so cold that it freezes things instantly. Being a climatologist, Jack Hall should have known right away what those storms were called.
After the decision to evacuate to the southern states, the President walks into the Oval Office to make a call. The American flag is on the right, it should be on the speaker's right, which is left as you're looking at it.
In LA after the tornado hits the building with the cleaner, the main power is turned off, yet the emergency lighting has not yet activated. The emergency lighting in that particular building, as clearly seen behind the cleaner, is a self-contained battery which would have immediately turned on once main power is lost.
Sam, Laura and the other students are watching TV coverage of the national weather disasters in New York City. However, the Fox channel they are watching is the local Fox affiliate in Washington DC (as seen by the "DC" letters next to the call sign), when obviously they should be watching whatever Fox station has coverage for Manhattan.
When a big storm threatens land, Hurricane Centers do not send helicopters out into storms so they can investigate them. During a storm, helicopters only rescue people and help bring in storm supplies to the affected areas. In the movie, three British helicopters are flying towards a massive storm over Europe to research and investigate it. Helicopters never fly into storms that big and strong because that weren't designed for that type of weather. They should have instead used Hurricane Hunter airplanes to investigate the storm.
Jack Hall says he's walked from NOAA to NYC in the snow before. NOAA is in Silver Spring, MD. The NYC Public Library is on 5th Street in Manhattan. That's a 220 mile walk. In the best of conditions, it would take close to a week to walk there (factoring in rest stops, 8 hours of sleep per night, and the fact that in the movie, you'd be walking across the frozen Hudson River instead of taking the ferry).
The time during the "ice age" that is depicted, which follows a normal, warm inter-glacial period, is geographically and physically impossible, taking what is shown in the movie as mere days, when in reality, the transition takes up to 8,000 years between cycles. Ice ages, in reality, follow a "Milankowich Cycle" of 100,000, 42,000 and 22,000 years, not mere days or weeks or even a century. The movie is nothing more than a morale in disguise as gross hyperbole, with the comical suggestion that the CO2 man has generated during the industrial revolution, the mass production of automobiles, driving cars and the exhaust they cause, right down to using plastic bags, is meant to be a guilt trip on the audience. Nothing that man has done could significantly accelerate or usher in the next ice age, as meteorological evidence shows that rises in CO2, whatever the cause, take mother natures tens of thousands of years in which to compensate, and not the ridiculously short time frame depicted in the movie.
Cargo ships rarely dock in any of New York City's port facilities and haven't routinely since the 1980s. If the Russian vessel was docked anywhere in the New York City metro area it would have been in the Port of Elizabeth, New Jersey, roughly 20 nautical miles from the NY Public Library. Unless the ship was brought by the mega-tsunami (in which case it would have wrecked in Lower Manhattan) there's no way it would reached Midtown Manhattan even if the streets were wide enough to accommodate it.
A group of people are saved from the main branch of the New York Public Library by helicopter. They look down and see that there are more survivors on top of the skyscrapers. Skyscrapers don't have chimneys, only modern day heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units.
1:23:37 After Frank has fallen through the ceiling window, Jack wipes the snow from the window where he is and peers through it. He shouts to Frank but there is no fogging on the window even though he just wiped powder snow off it.
When the group is shown in Philadelphia and a member falls through a skylight, the person is shown being suspend roughly 40-60 feet above the floor below. That means that the snow would be covering the entire mall and thus have drifted to a height of 65-70 feet at minimum. Given that only hours and not days had passed, this would be impossible as that much snow falling in such a short period would have collapsed the roof well before the group arrived,
The British announcer of the sports match pronounces the word celtic as "sell-tick". This is a gross mispronunciation that is made in America. The proper pronunciation is "kell-tick". No British announcer would ever make such an error in pronunciation.
After the reporter is hit by the flying billboard from the tornado, the billboard flips over and there isn't a body. In the special features on the DVD, an animatic is shown, showing the reporter was left on the road, as opposed to him being stuck on the billboard.
The wolves break free and run away themselves, before Manhattan floods with very high water and freezes over. After it happens the wolves appear alive and running amok. It's possible that they went into a building (there are a vast number of buildings in NYC), to high floor and stayed there until after the streets of Manhattan flooded and froze over.
The Russian cargo ship that drifts into the street outside the library, appears to be completely undamaged and seaworthy. So why are there no crew on board? There is no obvious reason for them to have abandoned ship.
In the final scenes, when helicopters rescue survivors in NY, people congregate on the roofs of skyscrapers. How did they manage to get onto the roof from inside the building when the roof is covered in more than 10 feet of snow and ice?
When the group is taking refuge in the library, they choose to burn books to keep warm. Not only are books rather hard to burn without an accelerant, the group has a huge supply of wooden furniture and doors that would make much better fuel.
When storms that move in a circular motion increase in size their wind speeds tend to increase as well. Throughout the whole movie, the wind speeds don't quite match up with the continent-sized storms. They don't move as fast or as hard. They only blow just a little bit. Storms of that size and magnitude would have produced extremely dangerous winds speeds and gusts well over 175 MPH. The snow and ice wouldn't have been as deep and thick. Everything on land including the skyscrapers in New York would have been completely destroyed.
When the students are flying through the thunderstorm you can hear typical rolling thunder. However, rolling thunder is an echo caused by surrounding storm cells. It would not be audible at the height of a plane flying.
During the typhoons in LA, the weatherman gets into his Porsche and tries to start the ignition with his right hand. All Porsches have their ignitions on the left side of the steering wheel. The shot is flipped.
When Jack and his team finally reach NYC, one of his team falls through a glass skylight roof covering a mall, Jack swings his metal pick ax into the snow to stop everyone from sliding though the hole and hold the weight of the three men, one of whom is dangling in mid air. A moment later Jack, still in the same spot, wipes of a few inches of powdered snow to reveal they are all on top of the glass roof of a mall. Thus when Jack uses the pick it should have gone through the snow and broken the glass roof he was laying on.
When Lucy Hall checks up on Peter, he's hooked up to some life-support machines. When the hospital is being evacuated to the south, Lucy agrees that she will stay behind with him till the ambulance arrives. The power is left on. As the ambulance finally arrives all the power is turned off. Since the heater is off, they both would have died from hypothermia. Peter would have also died without power to the machines that keep him alive. There should have been a back-up generator to keep both the machines and the heater on.
The wave which washes up to the New York Public Library was high enough to have overtopped the building and would have drowned the people seeking refuge in its interior. Additionally, it comes at the building from its EAST side (the side facing the Easr River) rather than the SOUTH side where the wave is shown being generated.
During the typhoons in LA, the weatherman gets into his Porsche and tries to start the ignition with his right hand. He turned the key counter-clockwise which wouldn't start the car. It would go to accessories. The shot is flopped - Porsches have the ignition keyhole on the left side of the wheel.
When the man steps out of the house right after they showed the wind decorations blowing in the wind, you can see that his hair or robe is not moving, other than the movement he makes, and it was supposed to be very windy.
Near the end of the movie, Dennis Quaid comes out of his tent and immediately plunges his hands into the snow surrounding the tent. He pulls his hands out, and his hands are dry, not wet with melted snow. He also has no reaction to wetness being applied to his hands, even in the high windchill factor. His partner emerges from the tent immediately after and does the same thing - no wet hands, and no reaction to wet hands and high windchill factor. This shows that the snow is fake.