What is TORCON?

Have you ever heard the term “TORCON” used on The Weather Channel? Do you know what it means? We’ll give you a hint… Typically you’ll hear this word during springtime when a certain type of weather is present.

The Weather Channel has been providing its Tornado Condition Index, or TORCON, to the public for over a decade. It is a 1-10 threat scale… the greater the number, the greater the threat for tornadoes. The numbers are specific to outlined areas and are presented by our on-camera meteorologists using a variety of graphics so people better understand the threat of tornadoes for their location. 

The TORCON index is simple to comprehend and helps communities understand the overall threat of tornadoes impacting their areas. Watch The Weather Channel this severe season and you will see TORCON being used!


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4 Comments


  1. TORCON ??? Seams like Tornado Warning and Tornado Watch are sufficient and Not Sensational. Come on, Dr. Forbes and Weather Channel, just give us the truth, facts WITHOUT Sensation! Also, winter snow storms do not need to be named..although I know the name makes the storm sound important – it is sensational, not just the facts!

  2. What is it so difficult to find current information in any area about the TOR:CON rating? Since Dr. Forbes retired information is limited. The weather channel commentators talk about it and give ratings but you can’t find it on the Internet. All you find is old discussions or webpages. Someone should step up and make this public.

  3. This is ridiculous fine grained hyper-sensational nonsense designed to get people watching The Weather Channel. It means little or nothing.

    I’m a SkyWarn NCO and Advanced Spotter who does volunteer work for the NWS/NOAA during severe weather events. Do a search of the NWS/NOAA official sites and you will not find the word “tor-con” in any form anywhere in official National Weather Service or NOAA documents.

    This is made-up malarkey. Stay tuned to the NWS for REAL watches and warnings issued in your area. The Weather Channel has gotten so sensationalized about the way they present weather information that they are no longer credible.

  4. For those who are curious on how to get the percentage of a tornado with 50 miles of a given location, it is simple.  We take our assigned value (1 to 10) and multiply it by ten.  Example: a TORCON value of 4 x 10 = 40% chance of a tornado within 50 miles of our location.  TORCON values equal the following scale: 0 or 1 = absent; 2 or 3 = low; 4 or 5 = moderate; 6 or 7 = high; 8 to 10 = very high.  Dr. @twcerikanavarro and @alexwilson, TORCON is the most impeccable way to articulate the chance of tornadoes hitting my area.  In fact, Dr. Greg Forbes (aka Storm Master G) should have developed this fifteen years ago.  It can save lives and prepare us better. #torconisawesome 🌪🌬⛈👍