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
  • 7-day forecast: Storms by Friday; warm, humid weekend

    For all the latest weather updates, go to

  • 7-day forecast: Couple of cool days before warm temps, possible storms return

    For all the latest weather updates, go to

  • Spring storms blow through Chicagoland

    Spring storms blew through the Chicago area Friday. Storms developed mostly to the south of the metro area while rain drenched the city of Chicago. A home in Woodridge was struck by lighting which sparked a fire. No one was injured. Flooding was reported in suburbs like Niles. High winds caused other damage and power outages. Updates at Chicago Weather Center.   Threat for wind & hail is over as the energy needed for severe t'storms has been zapped. Locally […]

  • Wet weekend but then dry days ahead

    Updates at Chicago Weather Center

  • Rainy end to the weekend possible

    Updates at Chicago Weather Center

  • Chicagoans soak up early beach weather

    CHICAGO — It may be early may, but this is “beach weather,” and city residents took to the beaches today. In Chicago, we wait for this kind of weather all throughout the chilly fall and spring, and moreover, through our arctic cold winters. And, you didn’t have to be along the lakefront or on the beach to enjoy this weather. Shorts became the order of the day for some people as well as outdoor cafes. However, Tom Skilling says, enjoy […]

  • Active weather week ahead

    Updates at Chicago Weather Center

  • Severe thunderstorm warning expires, showers expected

    The severe thunderstorm has weakened and no longer is considered a threat for strong winds and large hail. Scattered storms are expected to continue through the late afternoon. The strongest storms will be capable of producing hail, heavy downpours and frequent lightning. For details log on to Chicago Weather Center.

  • Big warmup coming this week

    Updates at Chicago Weather Center.

  • quake

    Chicagoland feels effects of 4.2 magnitude earthquake in Michigan

    GALEBURG, Mich. — The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has upgraded its initial report of  a 4.0 earthquake–now classifying it as a 4.2 quake.  The USGS puts the depth of the tremblor at 5.9 km (3.7 miles) and places the epicenter of the quake 5 miles south of Galeburg, Mich., which is 9 miles southeast of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Drury Dow was first to report it to WGN by way of Tom Skilling’s Facebook page.  He tells Skilling his condo in Schaumburg shook for 10 to […]


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