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August 2nd, 2009

Tom Skilling

I have no idea how I’ve not written a Ping about Tom Skilling in the past 9 1/2 years. But it’s true! Tom Skilling is, perhaps, the best weatherman in the nation. Sure sure, he’s the brother of Jeffrey Skilling… you know… but Tom is different. He’s gotta be.

I’ve been watching Tom since I was young. When I had sick days from school, I’d watch the noon news (yes, really) mostly because of Tom. What makes him royalty amongst the weatherperson dreck? It’s simple: he loves this stuff. I mean really loves it and geeks out over it.

WGN gives Tom a stellar 10 minutes of time on their nightly newscast for the weather. In that ten minutes you’ll not only know the forecast and what the weather was today, but you’ll also get an understanding of why the weather did what it did. Tom always takes time to explain the weather, and there are maybe one or two meteorologists I’ve ever seen who still actually do that.

As a bonus, Tom seems to have Chicago’s entire weather history stored in his brain, with lightning-quick recall. If I needed to know the last year in history when Chicago had a July with no days above 86 degrees at O’Hare, as was the case this year, Tom would tell me. (Answer: never!) It’s like he’s a sports stats junkie, but for the weather.

What really endeared me even more to Tom, though, was… Facebook. He posts regularly about the weather (including those great facts and figures) but also posts about his life, which I find interesting. For instance today he sound a farmer’s market and talked with people about fruits and veggies. That might seem boring to some, but to me it only builds on the mystique.

Tom is like your kindly uncle who is patient, caring, and has astonishing knowledge about a particular subject. I sincerely hope he never stops doing what he’s doing.

Posted in Everyday Life

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