Tom Skilling
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Tom Skilling, WGN-TV chief meteorologist, appears weekdays on WGN Midday News, WGN Evening News and WGN News at Nine. He celebrated his 35th anniversary with WGN-TV in August 2013.

Starting his successful career at the unheard-of age of 14, Tom was hired by WKKD in Aurora, IL while attending West Aurora High School.

He joined WLXT-TV three years later, while going to school during the day. In 1970, Tom moved to Madison, Wis., to study meteorology and journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, while continuing to work in radio and television. Tom’s first television job was at age 18 in Aurora, IL at WLXT-Channel 60. Then came WKOW-TV (ABC affiliate) and WTSO radio in Madison, WI before to going to work for WITI-TV, Milwaukee from 1975-1978, where he was rated the city’s #1 meteorologist.

Tom joined WGN-TV on August 13, 1978. Since then, he has established himself as a respected meteorologist both locally and nationally, known for his in-depth reports, enthusiasm, and use of state-of-the-art technology.

In early 2004, Tom helped coordinate the Tribune Weather Center, which combines the meteorology resources and expertise of WGN-TV, CLTV and The Chicago Tribune in one location. The weather center includes the installation of a state-of-the-art computer graphics system that enables Tom and his team to track details of weather across Chicagoland. He has also received an immense response for his weather blog.

Since 1997, Skilling has been a driving force behind the Chicago Tribune’s weather page. Another element in the column is “Ask Tom Why,” in which Tom takes viewers questions and answers the “why” behind the weather. In October 2008, Tom and the Weather Center started providing weather reports to WGN Radio.

In addition to his work on TV, radio and in print, Tom has created many weather specials over the years which have included: "Ten Inches of Partly Sunny," "Chasing the Wind," "Hurricane: The Greatest Storm on Earth,” "Alaska: Where Winters Are Really Winters,” and “A Winter Weathercast” to name a few.

Tom’s award winning tornado documentary "It Sounded Like a Freight Train," and "When Lightning Strikes," informing the causes and effects of lightning, were widely distributed for use in educational and public awareness efforts. He also received an Emmy nomination for his work on “Tsunamis on American Shores program,” which looked at the deadly tsunamis that have hit Alaska.

Tom’s documentary work has also received praise that includes Emmy award winning “The Sears Tower Versus Mother Nature.” He has received honors for the IBA Best Weather Show in 2004, as well as the 2003, 2004, 2008 Silver Dome Award for Best Television Weathercast. WGN-TV also received the environmental reporting award from the Audubon Society, an accomplishment that is due to Tom’s performance.

Called “a weatherman’s weatherman” by many in the field, the National Weather Service has honored Tom for holding free tornado and severe weather seminars each spring at the Fermilab National Accelerator complex in Batavia. Open to people of all ages, the seminar was created over 35 years ago to educate people about the dynamics and after effects of severe weather. Thousands of attendees gather to see hundreds of this country's leading experts in twisters, severe and damaging thunderstorms, and lightning discussed at this exciting event.

Skilling is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, the National Weather Association and Sigma Chi. The American Meteorology Society (AMS) named Tom as recipient of the 1997 Award for Outstanding Service by a Broadcast Meteorologist. He serves on the AMS nominating committee and holds the AMS’s Television Seal of Approval. In January of 1995, Tom received an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois.

Recent Articles
  • 1-minute forecast: Another bitterly cold night with below-zero temps

    For the latest weather updates, go to

  • Snow to taper off tonight but will return

    CHICAGO — Snow continues to fall in the Chicago area. 1 to 3-inches of snow is expected with northeast to eventually north-northwest winds producing lake-effect snow showers along the Illinois and Indiana Lake Michigan shoreline well into Thursday. Area roadways are expected to be slick if they are untreated. Related: Current look at the radar Bands of lake enhanced snow now forming over Cook County. Visibility down to 1/4mi at the station. — Mike Hamernik (@MikeHamernik) February 26, 2015 […]

  • Chicagoans cope with bitter cold – again

    CHICAGO — The Wind Chill Advisory is over, but the cold temperatures remain across the Chicago area. WGN’s Judy Wang and Erik Runge talked with Chicagoans braving another bitter cold day. Watch the video in the player below to hear what they had to say For the latest weather updates go to

  • Cold week with some snow expected

    Updates at Chicago Weather Center

  • Bitter cold eases, but snow remains

    As the bitter cold eases slightly in the Chicago area, light snow is expected today and tomorrow. Temperatures will warm into the low 20s and snow is not expected to accumulate more than one inch. Another system will bring another shot of light snow tomorrow. But Saturday should be even warmer with temperatures in the lows 30s. But winter isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Another pass or arctic air is expected Sunday. Updates at Chicago Weather Center.

  • Temps bounce around in coming days

    Updates at Chicago Weather Center

  • Dangerous, record-breaking cold hits Chicago area

    CHICAGO — The bitter and dangerous cold continues to lock the Chicago area in its grip. The high temperature on Thursday afternoon is expected to get no higher than 4 above. A wind chill advisory is in effect for several counties including Cook, De Kalb, DuPage, Kane and Will. Wind chills are expected to be 20 to 30 degrees below zero. Many schools, including CPS, cancelled classes Thursday. CPS said in a statement, “While classes are cancelled, CPS buildings will […]

  • wx1

    Skilling: Late-season record cold is rare, historic

    CHICAGO — The Chicago area is locked in the grip of a rare-late-season record breaking cold snap. Despite the strengthening February sunlight, 80 percent stronger than the sunlight received on the winter solstice and lengthening daylight to the tune of 1 hour and 37 more minutes of daylight than on December 21, the intense cold persists.  Wednesday’s official high at O’Hare was just 8 above and marked the city’s first single digit high this late in the season in 9 […]

  • 7-day forecast: Bitterly cold Thursday; light snow potential Friday

    For all the latest weather updates, go to

  • Single digits to hit Chicagoland

    Updates at Chicago Weather Center


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