Tom Skilling

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Tom Skilling
Born Thomas Ethelbert Skilling, III
(1952-02-20) February 20, 1952 (age 63)
Aurora, Illinois, United States
Occupation Chief Meteorologist
Years active 1966 – present
Notable credit(s) WGN News Meteorologist

Thomas Ethelbert Skilling, III (born February 20, 1952), known on-air as Tom Skilling, is a popular meteorologist in Chicago, Illinois. He is chief meteorologist for the weekday midday, 5 and 9 p.m. newscasts at CW affiliate and national cable superstation WGN-TV (channel 9).



Skilling began his career in broadcasting at age 14, working for WKKD-AM & FM while attending school at West Aurora High School.[1] At age 18, he began working at WLXT-TV (Ch. 60) in Aurora, Illinois.[1] He attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison to study meteorology and journalism. While attending the University of Wisconsin–Madison he worked at WKOW-TV and WTSO AM in Madison, Wisconsin.[1] From 1975 to 1978 he worked as a meteorologist at WITI in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[1] In January 1995, Tom received an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois.


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 local broadcast meteorologist in the United States.[2] He also writes the daily weather column in the Chicago Tribune, whose corporate parent, the Tribune Company, owns WGN-TV. 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. He also predicted the 2011 Chicago blizzard in January two weeks before it hit Chicago.

Skilling is under contract at WGN until 2022.[3]

AMS and Fermilab[edit]

Skilling is a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. He hosts annual tornado and severe weather seminars at the Fermi National Accelerator Lab (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois. 2013 marked the 32nd year of the seminar and the first that featured presentations specifically on climate change.[4][5]


Tom is the older brother of Jeff Skilling, the discredited former CEO of Enron.[6] The brothers are sons of Thomas Ethelbert Skilling, Jr. (1923–2006) and his wife Betty (Clarke) Skilling (1924–2008), of Aurora, Kane County, Illinois, and grandsons of Thomas Ethelbert Skilling, Sr. (1896–1968) and his wife Lillian Alta Foringer (1897–1979) of Parnassus, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania and Broward County, Florida.[7] His youngest brother, Mark Skilling, is an attorney who has practiced in California and Texas and served on the legal team that defended Jeffrey Skilling (unsuccessfully) in 2006.


  1. ^ a b c d Tom Skilling Chicago Tribune. Accessed January 3, 2013
  2. ^ [1] Chicago Magazine - The Cult of Tom.
  3. ^ "Rain or shine, 10-year renewal keeps Skilling at WGN". Time Out Chicago. Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  4. ^ [2] WGN-TV 9 - WGN-HD Biographical listing for Tom Skilling.
  5. ^ [3] Official web page of the Tom Skilling Tornado Seminar
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Thomas Ethelbert Skilling, Jr (1923 - 2006) - Find A Grave Memorial". Retrieved 1 October 2015. 

External links[edit]