Dr. Greg Forbes

Tornado and Severe Weather Expert

  • Forbes

As the severe weather expert for The Weather Channel®, Dr. Greg Forbes reports on dangerous thunderstorm weather hazards such as tornadoes, damaging winds, hail, floods and more. 

Dr. Forbes was born and raised in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and developed an interest in the weather when his 7th grade class studied a module on meteorology. He attended The Pennsylvania State University, where he received a bachelor's degree in meteorology.

He received his master's and doctorate degrees at the University of Chicago, where he studied tornadoes and severe thunderstorms under Dr. T. Theodore Fujita - famous for his invention of the F-scale used to rate tornadoes and for his discovery of intense thunderstorm downdrafts called microbursts. His thesis research involved studies of the 1974 Superoutbreak, one of the worst outbreaks of tornadoes in U.S. history.

Following completion of his Ph.D, Dr. Forbes served as field manager for Project NIMROD, the first measurement program to study damaging thunderstorm winds from downbursts and microbursts. He then joined the faculty in the department of meteorology at Penn State in 1978, where he taught courses in weather analysis and forecasting, natural disasters, and other topics until joining The Weather Channel in June 1999.

Dr. Forbes has had a variety of experiences outside of the classroom, including surveying the damage paths left by about 300 tornadoes and windstorms, including Hurricane Andrew and Typhoon Paka. As part of his research at Penn State, he was lead weather forecaster for numerous field research programs around the country.

In the 1999-2000 winter severe weather "'off-season" he was the forecaster in Sweden for a NASA project to measure the North Polar ozone hole. He has done collaborative research and consulting with the National Weather Service in the United States and with the national weather services in South Africa, Spain and the Netherlands - where he watched a small tornado go through his backyard. He spent three summers performing studies to improve lightning forecasting at the Kennedy Space Center.

Dr. Forbes developed The Weather Channel TOR:CON forecast, an index designed to estimate the likelihood of tornado activity within a given time period within 50 miles of a location. TOR:CON ratings are an exclusive and essential part of severe weather coverage on The Weather Channel network and its digital properties.

He has written numerous papers on tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and other meteorological topics and has co-authored and co-edited the books, Natural and Technological Disasters and Images in Weather Forecasting - the latter of which deals with the use of satellite and radar imagery in weather forecasting. He is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society.