Tom Skilling--40 years of weather

If you live in the Chicago area, you know who Tom Skilling is. He is the Chief Meteorologist at WGN-TV, and this week they celebrated his 40th anniversary there. Congratulations, Mr. Skilling!

Weather forecasting has come a long way in 40 years, and Tom has been at the forefront of these advancements in radar and computer models, which  affect our lives every day.

Here is an example–I remember the Groundhog Day Blizzard in February 2012, when the forecast called for the snow to begin around 2:30 in the afternoon. Downtown offices closed early. We hurried to our trains and busses, and the first flakes started falling just as I was getting off the Blue Line train in Oak Park. The sign on the bank read 2:30.

Chicago learned a lot from that blizzard, but that’s another story.  This story is how Tom Skilling is one of the inspirations for this blog about life and weather in Chicago.

Even though I am not a meteorologist, I share his love for weather and the natural world. In fact, I was thinking of doing this post as a list of 40 things Tom Skilling taught me about the weather, such as graupel, thundersnow, the polar vortex, the Fujita Scale,  El Niño, the interconnection of climate and weather, but you get the idea. There are way  more than 40 things!

Tom is also an outspoken advocate for science and acknowledging the implications of climate change and severe weather.  In his Severe Weather Seminars at Fermilab, his guest speakers  included Dr. Don Wuebbles, Nobel-prize winning climatologist, and Louis Uccellini, head of the National Weather Service.  You can read a post  here.

In case you missed it, or  you don’t live in the Chicago area, this is a tribute his colleagues at WGN put together to celebrate Tom Skilling’s  wonderful  and inspiring work.  Thank you, Tom!

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Filed under: history, seasons, weather

Tags: Fermilab, Tom Skilling, WGN


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  • Thank you very much for a fine tribute of your own.

  • Thanks for reading, dear friend!

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