Tom Skilling, WGN-TV chief meteorologist, appears weekdays on WGN Evening News from 5-7pm, WGN News at Nine and WGN News at Ten. He celebrates his 40th anniversary with WGN-TV in August 2018.
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, WI to study meteorology and journalism at the University of Madison-Wisconsin, 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 on to WKOW-TV (ABC affiliate) and WTSO radio in Madison, WI before 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. For over 30 years, Skilling was chief meteorologist on WGN Midday News as well as later newscasts. Tom Skilling has been awarded with three honorary doctorates from Lewis University, St. Mary’s of Minnesota and Aurora University.
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. 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. He has also received an immense response for WGNtv.com weather blog.
Over the past 38 years, Tom Skilling hosted a Tornado and Severe Storms Seminar at Fermilab. As host of the event, Skilling welcomed the ‘who’s who’ in the severe weather research and forecast community, including famed University of Chicago tornado researcher Dr. Ted Fujita. The Fermilab programs have been attended by thousands over the years and have been streamed to even larger audiences online.
This year, Tom is speaking at numerous events throughout the Chicagoland area discussing climate change. So far this year he has hosted a talk to 200 area science teachers in Downers Grove, participated in a climate conference in Naperville, headed out to Palatine to address an Energy Expo sponsored by the Sierra Club, and has worked with the Mayor’s office several times. He emceed a conference of local mayors from across the Chicagoland community who are addressing climate change, as well as an awards event for mayors recognizing environment efforts in member cities (mayors and their representatives for the world’s 40 biggest cities which included the mayors of Paris and Mexico City and the Deputy Mayors of New York, Los Angeles and Washington DC). Finally, this June, Tom will be awarded the Illinois Broadcasters Association (IBA) as their “2018 Broadcast Pioneer” honoree. From recording a podcast with Mayor Emmanuel about climate change to emceeing several events, Tom has maintained a very busy schedule.
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