The Washington Post

SyFy’s disaster double whammy: “Sharknado” and 9 other horrifying weather movies

(SyFy) (SyFy)

Thursday night, SyFy debuts the movie “Sharknado”, starring Tara Reid.  The premise? Tornadoes suck sharks out of the Pacific Ocean before unleashing them over Los Angeles, terrorizing the city.


Without even having seen the movie, it looks to be legendary for its awfulness – which probably makes it worth watching.

Here’s the preview…

The movie fits perfectly into the genre of terrible, low budget disaster flicks which are such train wrecks that they’re hard not to watch (and the secret to their appeal).

Replete with melodramatic, bad acting, they tend to follow this kind of script (although each movie introduces its own wrinkles):

* Some kind of ridiculously unrealistic storm – of epic proportions – threatens a city or even civilization.

* A scientist knows it’s coming but an evil, cynical politician does nothing because he doesn’t trust the scientist and/or fears he’ll incite mass panic.

* The storm hits, while the main characters – screaming at the top of their lungs – are chased by the storm. Meanwhile, cars turn into projectiles, buildings are obliterated, and casualties mount.

* In the end – the scientist somehow saves the day and the most likable main characters survive.

Sharknado’s inclusion of flesh-eating fish makes it a disaster double-whammy, preying on society’s fears of both storms and sharks. It ought to be good.

Below find previews for 9 other made-for-TV weather disaster movies of this sort. I found them Googling “worst weather movies”. No doubt, I’ve missed some gems.

In the spirit of transparency, I have only watched one of these 9 movies in its entirety: Category 6: Day of Destruction. I’ll never got those 175 minutes back but I was entertained at the time, I suppose.

Let us know if you’ve seen any of these films and any impressions you had…

Ice Twisters (2009)

2012 Ice Age (2012)

Absolute Zero (2006)

Metal Tornado, (2011)

500 mph Storm, (2013)

Polar Storm, (2009)

Super Cyclone, (2012)

Category 6, Day of Destruction, (2004)

Arctic Blast, 2010

Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.
Show Comments
Most Read

Heat Tracker

90-degree days year-to-date
Yearly Average
Record Most
67 (1980,2010)
Record Fewest
7 (1886,1905)
Last Year

At a Glance


-- /66°


49° /72°


54° /75°


57° /70°


46° /65°


48° /66°
National Airport

Right Now

D.C. Area Almanac

Avg. High
Avg. Low
Rec. High
Rec. Low
Next Story
Dan Stillman · July 10, 2013

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.