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 WGNtv.com 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
  • Weekend warm up, but cold returns

    For the latest weather updates, go to ChicagoWeatherCenter.com.

  • 7-day forecast: Prepare for coldest Thanksgiving in 25 years

      For all weather updates, please visit chicagoweathercenter.com

  • Tom Skilling’s long-range winter forecast for Chicago area

    Even die hard Chicagoans look back at last winter and shiver with its 82 inches of snow and relentless cold. It turned out to be the third coldest and snowiest Chicago winter on record.  And, our early blast of arctic cold and snow has many asking, is it happening again? What does Skilling say? The Climate Prediction Center has issued its new winter outlook which covers December through February. So, we headed to the Chicago office of the National Weather […]

  • 7-day forecast: Snow Wednesday, cold Thanksgiving, warmer by next weekend

    For all weather updates, go to chicagoweathercenter.com.

  • Rainy weekend then a mixed bag for next week

    The National Weather Service Forecast Offices have issued a Freezing Rain Advisory for the northern half of Illinois – including all of the Chicago area – effective tonight into Saturday morning. Ice accumulation of as much as 1 to 2-tenths of an inch will cause roads and surfaces to become ice-covered and slippery and travel/walking will become extremely hazardous on untreated roads/surfaces. Warming will occur slowly with temperatures rising above 32 degrees early Saturday afternoon, however the frozen ground still […]

  • Skilling: Wet and windy weekend ahead

    Updates at Chicago Weather Center

  • Cold moves out to make room for rain

    Check chicagoweathercenter.com for all weather updates.

  • Capture

    End to cold snap in sight

    Updates at Chicago Weather Center

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    Snow likely for tomorrow’s morning commute

    The National Weather Service has issued a statement regarding tomorrow morning’s commute. They report light snow is expected to develop early Wednesday morning across Northern Illinois and northwest Indiana and will likely impact the morning commute. Occasional brief bursts of moderate snow are possible with visibility falling to under one mile at times within the heavier snow. Timing of the snow will be between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. Areas north and east of a Harvard to Romeoville to Gifford […]

  • Tuesday could be coldest yet

    Chicagoans are shivering through one of the coldest early-season cold snaps on record. Daily temperatures have averaged double-digits below normal for nearly a week and  Tuesday is shaping up to be the coldest day yet. By daybreak the mercury is expected to bottom out in the single-digits. The latest forecast calls for a morning low of 9 degrees- just one degree above the day’s record low of 8 established in 1880. The day’s high is expected to struggle to reach 20 degrees […]

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