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
  • Forecast: Burst of flurries, January-level Arctic blast

    Check chicagoweathercenter.com for all the latest weather updates.

  • Snow on the way for Saturday

    Updates at Chicago Weather Center

  • Chicagoans prepare for first sticking snow of season

    The cold temps that started the week aren’t going anywhere any time soon and Saturday could bring the first sticking snow of the season, according to Tom Skilling. So little snow has fallen in recent Novembers in Chicago, an accumulation of an inch of snow here Saturday night would exceed all the snow that’s fallen here in the past five Novembers combined. Model projections and other snow forecast techniques suggest 1-2″ accumulations–perhaps 3″ in a few spots appear  good bet […]

  • Cold persists, weekend snow expected

    A modest weekend snow system is projected to lay down as much as 1-2″ of snow here Saturday night. We expect the addition of some snow on the ground here over the weekend may prove a catalyst in pushing the area’s already unseasonable temps this week and coming weekend even lower early next week—-potentially low enough to challenge some temp records Monday night and Tuesday next week. Highs are predicted no higher than the 20s both Monday and Tuesday–colder than […]

  • Skilling: Cold for now – colder next week

    It will feel just like January through the end of the week.  Highs will struggle to get to the freezing point.  While we may warm up a couple of degrees over the weekend, some sticking snow could be on the way Saturday night and into Sunday.  Models are hinting at anything from a dusting to up to an inch. Another shot of Arctic air arrives early next week with some of the coldest temperatures we have seen since the middle […]

  • Capture

    Skilling: Temps to take major plunge Tuesday

    Get ready to bundle up Chicago, Tom Skilling says the coldest weather we’ve seen in 8 months is headed out way. We’re headed into a run of significantly below-normal temps starting with falling temps Tuesday. Skilling says “winter-level temps” could provoke a significant snow across areas of the region to Chicago’s north. He also says the chill will be reminiscent of the “take-hold and almost never let go” of last winter’s chilly weather. “It’s a bit early to read too […]

  • Skilling: Cool and getting cooler

    Showers are expected to develop across the Chicago area by midnight tonight and continue into Election Day putting a damper on morning voters. Skies are expected to begin to clear Tuesday afternoon as gusty west winds deliver some drier air. Updates at Chicago Weather Center

  • ‘Halloween Howler’ could bring more bursts of rain, snow tonight

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

  • Howling winds, cold air makes for a ghoulish Halloween storm system

    There’s a downright ghoulish forecast for Halloween in the Chicago area. Howling winds and dropping temps begin this afternoon and will last through Friday to make the coldest Halloweens in 18 years. A Wind Advisory will begin at 7 a.m. tomorrow for DuPage, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Kankakee and Cook counties, with gusts of 50 mph possible. Also, Cook County is under a Lakeshore Flood Advisory.  Large, battering waves of up to 23 feet will result in minor flooding near the […]

  • Capture

    Skilling: ‘Wickedly’ cold Halloween in store

    Updates at Chicago Weather Center

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