WeatherBrains 188: Chatting with Tom Skilling

WeatherBrains Episode 188 is now online (Sep. 1, 2009). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!


Our special guest for this episode recorded on September 1st is Tom Skilling. Thomas E. Skilling, III, born February 20, 1952, is known on-air as Tom Skilling and he is a popular meteorologist on WGN-TV in Chicago, IL. He is the weather anchor for WGN News at Noon, 5:30, and Nine.

Tom Skilling, Chief Meteorologist at WGN-TV, ChicagoSkilling began his career in broadcasting at age 14, working for WKKD/WLXT-TV Channel 60 in Aurora, IL, while attending school at West Aurora High School. He studied meteorology and journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After college he worked as a weatherman in Jacksonville, FL, Madison, WI, and Milwaukee, WI. In January 1995, Tom received an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Lewis University in Romeoville, IL.

Skilling returned to the Chicago area and began working for WGN-TV Channel 9 in 1978. He is currently WGN’s chief meteorologist and is rumored to be the highest paid broadcast meteorologist in the United States. He also writes the daily weather column in the Chicago Tribune whose corporate parent, the Tribune Company, owns WGN. His weather broadcasts have always featured the latest technology in computer imagery and animation techniques. He has long been hailed for his in-depth reports and striking accuracy. “Skillful”, as his late WGN colleague Bob Collins called him, was consulted for the movie The Weather Man which was set in Skilling’s hometown of Chicago at a fictionalized version of WGN.

Skilling is a member of the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association. He hosts annual tornado and severe weather seminars at the Fermi National Accelerator Lab in Batavia, IL. 2006 marked the 25th year of the seminar.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • No breakfast for JB but a meatloaf sandwich yesterday for lunch
  • WeatherInsiders closes temporarily after this week
  • and more!
  • We are always happy to see our mail bag getting some attention and our Email Officer, Kevin, gives a rundown on what has come in. The topic of sirens and weather radio comes up again.

    From The Weather Center:

    WeatherBrains 101: James Espy was one of the earliest meteorologists in the US, so this week we take a look at a person who was once described as “a foremost American meteorologist” who also developed a theory on convection.

    TWIWH: Bill Murray looks back at the week of September 1st focusing on the Hurricane Hunters.

    Listener SurveyListener Surveys: Okay, we continue to drive this topic into the ground, but we really do like to hear from you. Many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to fill out the Listener Survey. The survey takes just a minute or two to complete and provides us with an opportunity to learn where you are and hear your thoughts and comments on the show. Click here to take the survey.

    Web Sites from Episode 188:

    WGN-TV Channel 9 Chicago, IL

    Weather Toolbox

    Picks of the Week:

    JB Elliott – No Pick this week

    Bill Murray – Hurricane, an iPhone app from Kitty Code, LLC

    Brian Peters – Weather Satellite Tracking at NASA

    Kevin Selle – Weather Bug cameras

    James Spann – Snow Leopard

    Join James Spann, JB Elliott, Kevin Selle, Bill Murray, and Brian Peters as they come together for another fascinating netcast about the weather.

    We love to hear from you! To leave a recorded message, call 1-888-247-8627. Some calls may be used in future episodes. Also, feel free to post comments to the site and drop us an email at email at (at symbol) weatherbrains dot com.

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