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Extreme films about extreme weather

Films that make you fall in love with the great British weather all over again.

In the UK, it's easy to feel like we got the short straw when it comes to the weather. With rain widely considered a national motif, when the sun does decide to come out we're all in such a rush to get outside that we fall over each other to do so.

But sometimes, living in a country that's blessed with resoundingly mild weather isn't all that bad. If we were faced with any of the weather the protagonists of these films are faced with, we'd probably be begging for our beloved drizzle back.

The Perfect Storm 2000

The Perfect Storm

Starring silver-haired heartthrob George Clooney, The Perfect Storm is based upon the book of the same title by Sebastian Junger and retells the true story of the crew of the Andrea Gail and their struggle against the 'Perfect Storm' of 1991.

The Andrea Gail was a sword-fishing boat that was experiencing a bout of bad luck, consistently returning to port with a bad catch. Captain Billy Tyne convinced the crew to return to the sea for a late season fishing expedition and head past their usual fishing area in the hope of netting a better catch.

During the rush to get back to the shore, the crew decide to risk sailing through a building storm. This would turn out to be a meeting of two volatile weather fronts and a hurricane.

With waves of more than 40 feet in height smashing onto the deck, the crew struggle to survive against the raging, perfect storm.

For all the thrills of bad weather, The Perfect Storm is a must-see.

Wizard of Oz 1939

Wizard of Oz

Even though The Wizard of Oz tornado doesn't have much screen time, it's probably one of the most famous in cinema history.

Dorothy Gale is trapped inside her Kansas home when the storm hits and her entire home is whisked away to the fantastical, colourful world of Oz.

What follows is a heart-warming story of challenges and revelations as Dorothy tries to find her way home, befriending a motley crew of creatures as she does. It's one of the most beloved family films ever made and is just as timeless today as it was when it was made.

Around 1,000 tornadoes appear in the US every year, with Texas seeing the most at about 125 per year. In Kansas, where Dorothy started her journey, you can expect to see about 55.

Twister 1996


The baddy of this disaster drama didn't have an English accent, was no criminal mastermind and didn't have a penchant for cats. In this weather flick, Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt find themselves pitted against the menace of a powerful tornado.

The story follows two storm chasers on the track of the perfect storm for their metrological research. In a race against a second team of storm chasers who are kitted out with better equipment, they want to perfect their data-gathering instruments and learn exactly what makes a tornado tick.

The said device, named 'Dorothy' in the film, is a copy of a similar instrument named TOTO, which was used in the 1980s by the National Severe Storms Laboratory.

You're not likely to see any tornados in the UK, so this film is sure to sate any thrill-lovers who don't want to get too close to a real tornado.

The Day after Tomorrow 2004

The Day after Tomorrow

The Day after Tomorrow stars Jake Gyllenhall as a paleoclimatologist who has been researching the details of global warming. His findings are at first met with derision from his superiors, but once ocean temperatures start to drop and polar ice caps start to melt at an alarming rate, it's proved that he was right all along.

Probably one of the most gleefully inaccurate extreme weather films, The Day after Tomorrow sees our heroes repeatedly battered by absolutely anything that Mother Nature can throw at them.

Tsunamis, tornados, flash floods, flash freezes and earthquakes. There are also sudden sinkholes, deadly hail and a fair bit of rain thrown in for good measure. This one to take with a pinch of salt, but there's no denying that it's fun to watch.

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