| Tornado Chasers

10 Code for Storm Spotting


A buddy and I are trying to create a 10 code for storm spotting. Would any of you guys support using it, if so please let me know. The code would be used on CB radio and HAM.


This is actually not a good idea. Using 10 codes is no longer recommended after research conducted out of post 9/11 and Katrina. 10 codes led to confusion. Plain language should be used to prevent this confusion. Descriptions of severe weather should be done in a clear and concise manner. Additionally, Federal agencies and those that receive federal grants are not allowed to use 10 codes under executive order according to NIMS requirements. Almost all emergency management programs receive some kind of federal funds. That said emergency management and NWS would never go for this.


I’m not sure how many people, even truckers, still use CB radios in the age of smartphones. Ham radios are, of course, still widely used. You might be able to get away with using “10-4” since it’s entered popular parlance and a lot of people know what it means, but beyond that, you’d be confusing people. You’re better off getting spotter training (if you haven’t already) and sticking to established methods of communication.


My family has been in law enforcement for several generations, and I have to say that while it is an interesting idea, the widespread use of this code would not be well received. In the Law Enforcement Community, the 10-codes have led to much confusion. This is because different departments assign different meanings to the 10’s. As it is now, there are multiple 10 codes used in Law Enforcement, and there is no “standard” code. This is especially hard if transferring from one department to another, as the different uses can lead to confusion, and in emergency situations, especially when the users are under pressure, serious consequences/injuries/loss of life can result.
With that said, I think the idea would be interesting, but it would not have a formal following. It might be fun, but it could also cause confusion, especially if others are listening in…that would be the main concern I would have. Remember, as a chaser, you attract attention, and never want to cause anyone else to be harmed because they misunderstood what was said.
Now, my personal opinion is that it would be cool to have and useful in a private group among those who knew it. If you do develop it, or need help or advice, let me know, please.