Online Drought Indicators and Indices

Temperature Condition Index (TCI)


Index name: Temperature Condition Index (TCI).

Ease of use: Green.

Origins: Developed from work done by Kogan with NOAA in the United States.

Characteristics: Using AVHRR thermal bands, TCI is used to determine stress on vegetation caused by temperatures and excessive wetness. Conditions are estimated relative to the maximum and minimum temperatures and modified to reflect different vegetation responses to temperature.

Input parameters: AVHRR satellite data.

Applications: Used in conjunction with NDVI and the Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) for drought assessment of vegetation in situations where agricultural impacts are the primary concern.

Strengths: High resolution and good spatial coverage.

Weaknesses: Potential for cloud contamination as well as a short period of record.

Resources: Methodology and calculations are provided in the literature and online resources of products are available at the NOAA STAR – Global Vegetation Health Products webpage.

Reference: Kogan, F.N., 1995: Application of vegetation index and brightness temperature for drought detection. Advances in Space Research, 15(11): 91–100. DOI: 10.1016/0273-1177(95)00079-T. (For more information on this paper, please contact the IDMP HelpDesk).

Currently used by: Iran.

  1. melsew
    February 1, 2021 Reply

    application of remote sensing data for accessing of temperature condition index

  2. ritu Khandelwal
    January 31, 2021 Reply

    How can i get SMI dataset

  3. SZ H
    January 28, 2021 Reply

    Can I calculate the TCI by using air temperature instead of land surface temperature?

  4. Amin
    December 23, 2020 Reply

    When do we have a drought? If TCI approaches to 0 or approaches to 100? And what’s the relationship between TCI and VCI? (Direct relationship or Reverse relationship)?

  5. Amin
    November 8, 2020 Reply

    How can we classify drought by Temperature Condition Index (TCI)?
    And what relationship has beetwen TCI and VCI ?

    1. Robert Stefanski
      February 16, 2021 Reply

      Dear Amin,

      Please take a look at the resources section of the TCI here and the VCI here.

      Best regards,
      IDMP TSU

  6. Shedrack Ogu
    September 19, 2020 Reply

    Please I want to know if I can calculate TCI and LAI form Landsat 8 data set?

    More so, can I use Arcgis 10.7 to produce a map showing a particular plant growth (rice) in Nigeria?

    July 15, 2020 Reply

    How can i get VHI, TCI, LST,SPI, VCI and SWI from open source data? is it possible

    1. Katrin Ehlert
      July 24, 2020 Reply

      Dear Suganya Balasubramanian

      The following datasets have global coverage.

      VHI, TCI, VCI and LST are indices derived from satellite data. Open source data sets can be found here:

      SPI and SWI depend on precipitation data and groundwater level data, respectively. If you have this data from ground based stations, you can use the following tool to calculate both indices:

      For the SPI there are also several satellite derived precipitation datasets openly available, for example this one:

      Best regards
      IDMP team

  8. Oshneck Mupepi
    July 2, 2020 Reply

    is it possible to calculate TCI using arcmap 10.5 softaware.

    1. Katrin Ehlert
      July 10, 2020 Reply

      Dear Oshneck Mupepi

      The Vegetation Health products including NDVI, TCI and VCI can be readily downloaded from the following website:

      ESRI ArcMap software can be used to display and perform further calculations.

      Best regards
      IDMP team

      1. Oshneck Mupepi
        July 26, 2020 Reply

        Thank you very much. May i ask if its possible to average TCI for the wettest and driest seasons in a decade to produce a map showing average TCI for a decade.

        1. Katrin Ehlert
          July 29, 2020 Reply

          Dear Oshnek Mupepi

          Please find below an answer to your question from one of our IDMP partners:

          TCI is based on 10.3-11.3 um radiance measurements converted to brightness temperature (BT). The TCI for each pixel and 8-day period is calculated using current and historical land surface temperature data values, i.e.,

          TCI(k) =(LST(k)max − LST(k))/(LST(k)max − LST(k)min)

          where LST(k) is the current land surface temperature at each pixel, and LST(k) min and LST(k) max are the historical minimum and maximum LST values of the kth 8-day period at each pixel, respectively.
          The TCI value range is 0–100. TCI is a proxy for “thermal” condition. If we can use for drought monitoring, (0 driest and 100 wettest). The average values for the wettest and driest seasons are based on regions.
          Please check the following publication ( for TCI average range of HOA (page 7). You also find other drought index average ranges in this paper too.

          Best regards
          IDMP team

  9. Hillary Mugiyo
    July 2, 2020 Reply

    Where can I download VCI for Southern Africa (South Africa) for period of 2000 to date

    1. Katrin Ehlert
      July 8, 2020 Reply

      Dear Hillary Mugiyo

      The following websites provide global products on vegetation health (VCI/TCI/VHI). Please refer to the websites for further information about spatial resolution and other parameters. (since 1981) (since 2013)

      Best regards
      IDMP team

  10. Mahesh
    May 3, 2020 Reply

    Please anybody sens the TCI data or vector data for maharashtra since from 1970 to 2019

    1. Katrin Ehlert
      May 11, 2020 Reply

      Dear Mahesh

      Please look at the following link:

      Best regards
      IDMP Team

  11. kachi
    March 27, 2020 Reply

    how do i calculate the tci index in relation with tea trade between china and kenya

    1. Katrin Ehlert
      April 2, 2020 Reply

      Dear Kachi

      Thank you for your comment. The scope of this section of the Integrated Drought Management Programme website is to provide technical support on drought monitoring and early warning, trade is not included.

      Best regards
      IDMP team

  12. Dave
    January 10, 2020 Reply

    Do You nave TCI from Sentinel-2?

    1. Katrin Ehlert
      January 13, 2020 Reply

      Dear Dave

      We do not produce data products from satellite measurements. However, sentinel data can be accessed from the following website: and you might find the following recent scientific publication helpful, in which the TCI was calculated from Sentinel 3 data:
      Best regards,
      IDMP team

  13. sunil bhandari
    August 13, 2017 Reply

    I am doing projectusing MODIS image having spatial resolution 250m and temporal resolution 16 days and Can i get direct TCI having resolution of 250m of a country nepal?

    1. Robert Stefanski
      August 30, 2017 Reply

      Please try to access the following webpage:

      Also, we will request some of our partners to look into your question.

    2. Robert Stefanski
      August 31, 2017 Reply

      Please see the following response from the IDMP Support Based Partner from the George Mason University (GMU) in the USA.
      One cannot get TCI at 250m resolution, one only can get VCI at 250m resolution with MODIS 16-day NDVI products.

      TCI is originally designed with brightness temperature of NOAA AVHRR channel 4 (the TIR channel around 11micron) (

      For MODIS, the corresponding channel is band 31, with a spatial resolution of 1km (not 250m, MODIS has 36 spectral channels, only channels 1 and 2 have spatial resolution at 250m) ( .

      For MODIS data, if calculate TCI with brightness temperature, have to start with MODIS L1B data products (MOD02), it’s quite complicated. However, can try to use the daily or 8-day gridded land surface temperature products (MOD11) to calculate TCI, the spatial resolution is 1km.

      MODIS gridded land products are organized by tiles with SIN map project ( . To get TCI (or VCI or VHI) for a specific area, need to download MODIS data tiles covering the area. For Nepal, need 4 tiles (h24v05, h24v06, h25v05, h25v06), then mosaic and resample to the data.

  14. temesgen fikadie
    March 14, 2017 Reply

    thank you for your best contribution !!! but i can not get the accesses specialy TCI as much as possible send by PDF

    1. Robert Stefanski
      March 15, 2017 Reply

      The TCI files are quite large. I am not sure we can process the data. Please be specific on which areas and dates you need.
      We will check for some other sources that might have a summary or a an easier way to get the information.

  15. sunil bhandari
    March 3, 2017 Reply

    how to calculate TCI and where can we get data??

    1. Robert Stefanski
      March 3, 2017 Reply

      Please take a look at the following link to access the data:

      These data are available online through an anonymous FTP servers.
      Click on link “4km AVHRR-VHP data in NETCDF format (since 2009)”
      This will access the FTP site where you can download the VH file (* or *.VH.hdf): which contains VCI,TCI,VHI.

  16. Dagim
    November 21, 2016 Reply

    plz send Temperature condition index vector data for country of Ethiopia

    1. Robert Stefanski
      November 22, 2016 Reply

      Dear Dagim,

      Please look at the following link:



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