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What the hell is THAT?!
It looks like some kind of localized ion storm!
But that's impossible!!
that to the aliens.
- GDI troops, witnessing the Storm Column's abilities at Berne
CNCTW Ion Storm Cameo
TW Ion Storm Icons

An Ion Storm is a violent and unpredictable weather effect caused by Tiberium. Ion Storms occur in several missions in Tiberian Sun and its expansion Firestorm, and there are several ways to cause a small localised ion storm in Tiberium Wars.


Ion Storms are caused by the presence of Tiberium based gas in the atmosphere. When the saturation of Tiberium in the air reaches a certain level, the chance of a devastating electrical storm called an Ion Storm rises. It is unknown precisely what factors trigger an Ion Storm. The Ion Storms proliferate in areas of heavy Tiberium contamination, in particular areas where the Veinholes are present.

Regardless, when the Ion Storm begins, the sky is obscured by Tiberium gas clouds and lightning strikes proliferate. Random meteorite strikes may also take place. Ion Storms are extremely disruptive to communications and sensor equipment, and a player's radar system will not function while the storm is active. Furthermore, the build up of electrical charges in the atmosphere makes flight almost impossible - all aircraft in flight at the time (as well as Jump Jet Infantry if they are in flight) - will immediately crash and be destroyed, and those still on the ground will be unable to take off. The Hover MRLS will be immobilised in its current position (and if it is unfortunate enough to be over a body of water at the time the ion storm begins, it will sink and be destroyed).

Most ground equipment and vehicles continue to function properly though, but run the risk of getting struck by a powerful Ion Storm lightning bolt. In 2030, an Ion Storm kept the Kodiak grounded while Nod forces launched an attack to destroy the command craft. Later, during the Firestorm Crisis, an Ion Storm caused the Kodiak to crash, when a giant bolt of lightning hit it, as well as preventing any communication between GDI ground forces on Earth with the GDSS Philadelphia. An Ion storm also killed Ignatio Mobius and his crew. To protect its personnel as well as civilians against ion storms, GDI has built a number of storm shelters in populated areas.

During the Third Tiberium War, observations of the alien Scrin led GDI field operatives to believe that the extraterrestrials could in fact artificially generate localised Ion Storms. They even appeared to possess an aircraft with this precise ability - the Planetary Assault Carrier. The Storm Columns also use Ion Storms as their defense against everything.

Ion storms can be caused via the detonation of Green and Blue Tiberium. Ion Storms can happen if a Scrin Harvester has Tiberium inside and is destroyed, causing a very fast Ion storm.