The 15 Best Documentaries About Tornadoes

Jul 9, 2023 | Best Of, Disaster, Nature

The incredible power of nature has been demonstrated time and again with the occurrence of tornadoes. These terrifying storms are some of the most destructive and awe-inspiring natural disasters in the world, occurring in many different parts of the globe. A tornado is essentially a rotating column of air that develops due to converging winds, creating a low pressure area on top with intense strength. When these clouds enter an area where condensation happens over water or ice-covered ground, violent thunderstorms and tornadoes occur as a result. To better understand this phenomenon, here are seven amazing documentaries about tornadoes which will give you insight into their formation and effects.


1. Tornado Hunters (2014)

The intensity of the chase is matched only by the determination of these storm chasers. As they navigate through treacherous conditions, their cameras capture every moment in breathtaking detail. With viewers on the edge of their seats, it’s a wild ride that will leave them feeling like they’re right there in the eye of the storm.




2. SuperTornado: Anatomy of a Megadisaster (2012)

On May 22, 2011, a monstrous tornado tore through Joplin, Missouri, leaving behind unimaginable devastation and loss. In its wake was a city shattered and its people in despair. As the five-year anniversary approaches, this documentary paints a poignant portrait of Joplin’s journey to rebuild and heal from one of the deadliest and most destructive natural disasters in US history.






3. Oklahoma’s Deadliest Tornadoes (2013)

Get ready to embark on a gripping journey as we delve into the world of extreme weather in this documentary. Experience firsthand accounts from survivors of Moore’s devastating tornado and gain insight from scientists who chase these formidable storms.






4. Mr. Tornado (1988)

In the midst of chaos and destruction, one man’s dedication to understanding nature’s fury would change the way we respond to deadly tornadoes forever. Tetsuya Theodore “Ted” Fujita devoted himself to studying The Super Outbreak of 1974, a catastrophic series of tornadoes that ravaged the United States.






5. Tornado Glory (2004)

In this riveting documentary, two young meteorologists take on the ultimate challenge: chasing tornadoes. Join Reed Timmer and Joel Taylor as they navigate through treacherous storms in pursuit of their passion for understanding these powerful forces of nature.







The Best Free Documentaries About Tornadoes


1. World’s Most Deadliest Tornado – National Geographic

This video dives into the fascinating world of tornadoes, from their causes to the different types. You’ll get an intense look at one of the deadliest tornadoes ever recorded, captured by a National Geographic film crew. Learn about how these powerful storms form and what you can do to stay safe if you find yourself in their path! With this educational documentary, you will gain valuable insight into one of nature’s most awe-inspiring phenomena.


2. Live Life and Chase Documentary

Nick Stewart, an Emmy-winning meteorologist, takes you on a journey through tornado alley to witness some of the most powerful storms. On this two day expedition, Nick and his team capture incredible footage of supercells dropping tons of hail as well as a few tornadoes. To top it off they get up close with an EF-4 mile wide tornado that tears through northeast Kansas while collecting important data for research! Join us on this thrilling adventure and see what Mother Nature has in store!


3. The Most Violent Outbreak of Tornadoes in History

On April 3, 1974 a deadly Super Outbreak of tornadoes swept through 13 states and one province leaving a path of destruction in its wake. More than 350 people lost their lives, and over 5,000 were left injured or homeless – the deadliest tornado outbreak ever recorded for any single day on Earth! But just one evening later an even more devastating outbreak almost beat that record to become the second most violent 24-hour period since records began being kept in 1960. In this documentary we take you back to these two events and explore the 7 best documentaries about tornadoes ever made.


4. The Most Destructive Tornadoes In History

Mother Nature has an immense power that can leave destruction and devastation in its wake. This documentary takes a look back at some of the most powerful tornadoes to ever hit our planet, from Attica in Kansas to Jarrell in Texas. You’ll witness first-hand the destruction these natural disasters caused on unsuspecting communities, forever changing lives and altering landscapes beyond recognition. Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to bear witness to the fatal power of Mother Nature!


5. Tornado Alley: Real Time Tornado: Joplin, Missouri

This documentary takes a look at one of the worst tornadoes to ever hit Joplin, Missouri. It shows the progression of the storm as it travels and interviews experts and survivors who experienced its destructive force firsthand. We also get an inside look at what it’s like in a home that has been damaged by this powerful tornado. Follow along with us as we explore the devastation caused by this natural disaster.


6. The Deadliest Tornadoes Of All Time | Mega Disaster

Tornadoes are some of the most dangerous and destructive forces on Earth. They can hit without warning, flattening entire towns in minutes and leaving behind a wake of destruction that takes years to repair. In this episode of Mega Disaster, we take a look at some of the worst tornadoes in history. We travel around the globe to explore how these phenomena form and what makes them so unpredictable. Learn about their devastating impact on communities and discover how scientists are working hard to better understand these powerful storms before they strike again.


7. Devastating Joplin, Missouri Tornado – May 22, 2011 & Aftermath | Full Documentary

Tornadoes are a real danger and can cause immense destruction. In 2011, the town of Joplin, Missouri was hit by a powerful tornado that left many homeless and struggling to rebuild their lives. Five years later, this documentary takes an in-depth look at the aftermath of the super tornado’s devastation and what makes these storms so dangerous. Find out how the community is still trying to recover from such a devastating event!


8. The True Stories of the Tornado Rampage in 2011

Witness the destruction and chaos caused by one of the most destructive tornado rampages in history. In April 2011, Alabama and Mississippi states were ravaged by a powerful string of tornadoes that left a path of destruction in its wake. Join Discovery Channel’s Stormchaser Reed Timmer as he tracks down these twisters with exclusive footage from those caught up in the storm. Hear first-hand stories from survivors, who recount their terrifying experiences during this natural disaster – all captured on remarkable video footage they shot themselves!


9. Oklahoma: Tornado Target

Oklahoma is a state that has seen its fair share of tornadoes. But why? In this documentary, we explore the science behind Tornado Alley and the heartache left in its wake. We’ll also look at emerging technologies that could soon save lives in Oklahoma. Join us as we uncover the truth about why so many large, violent tornadoes keep hitting this state.


10. The Wrath of God: Disasters in America Tornado Alley

The Wrath of God: Tornado Alley is a must-watch documentary! A&E Television Network’s History Channel presents this 1996 film that explores the power and destruction of these storms in America. Learn how tornadoes form, what areas are most at risk, and the effects they have on people and property. This educational video provides an in-depth look into one of nature’s most powerful phenomena.

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David B