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 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 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 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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Recent Articles
  • Dangerous combo of heat and humidity on the way; Heat Watch issued

    CHICAGO — A dangerous combination of heat and humidity is to build into the Chicago area starting Thursday. Thursday morning thunderstorms are possible and then heat will build starting Thursday afternoon. Peak heat indices are to surge into the 105 to 114-degree range Thursday through Saturday. The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Watch from Thursday afternoon through Saturday evening. High temps are expected to peak in the 90s each day with upper 90s possible for Friday and […]

  • Intensely hot temps. ahead, could hit 100 this weekend

    For the latest forecast and more visit

  • Dangerous heat: Hottest weather in 7 years on the way

    CHICAGO —Not only will this be the hottest weather of the summer coming later this week it will be the hottest stretch of weather in Chicago of the past seven years! Temperatures could reach or even exceed triple digits by the end of the week.  Chicago has not recorded an official 100-degree temperature since July 4 and 5 2012. Heat is considered dangerous when the temperature/humidity combination produces a  heat index of 105 degrees or higher. Current forecast projections suggest […]

  • Temps. could hit 100 in the hottest week of the year

    For the latest forecast visit

  • Is it possible to have a rainbow at night?

    Dear Tom, My parents were just on a trip to Hawaii and claimed they saw a rainbow at night. Is that possible? Thanks, Debbie Holden Dear Debbie, It is absolutely possible. Lunar rainbows or moonbows are common in the tropics, but are rather rare at mid and high latitudes. They form in the same manner as a common rainbow, except the light source is the moon rather than the sun, with moonlight reflected and refracted through raindrops to form a […]

  • It seems as if weather systems have been moving more slowly in recent years. Is this possible?

    Dear Tom, It seems as if weather systems have been moving more slowly in recent years. Is this possible? Donna Wiggerstom Dear Donna, Yes, it seems to be happening. Researchers have noted that the Arctic is warming at a rate two to four times faster than the global average, or perhaps even faster than that. One result, broadly speaking, is a narrower temperature difference between the Arctic and the equator, thereby lessening planetary winds and preventing them from pushing low […]

  • Did Chicago experience dust storms during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s?

    Dear Tom, I know that Chicago had record heat during the 1930s Dust Bowl, but did the city experience any dust storms? — Ron B., Midlothian Dear Ron, The answer is yes. While not as intense and far less frequent than the dust storms that plagued the Great Plains, Chicago did experience a significant dust storm in 1934. It occurred on May 10-11, 1934, just a little more than two months before the city experienced it all-time record high of […]

  • Warmer temperatures approach upcoming week

    For the latest weather updates, go to

  • Sunny, hot weekend ahead

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  • How often does Chicago get significant rain or other effects from the aftermath of hurricanes?

    Dear Tom, How often does the Chicago get significant rain or other effects from the aftermath of hurricanes? Thanks, Kevin Seward Glenview Dear Kevin, It’s not common, but Chicago occasionally gets rainfall fueled by moisture from landfalling tropical cyclones. Usually, the storm center has dissipated, but the residual moisture in the low and mid-levels of the atmosphere significantly boosts precipitation totals. On rare occasions, remnant low pressure from the dying tropical cyclone will move close enough to Chicago to bring […]

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