Indiana is a great state in which to work as an educator. The certification process for in-state teachers is overseen by the Indiana Department of Education and is outlined below to help you learn how to become a teacher in Indiana.
Tom Skilling on WGN-Chicago was my favorite for 2 decades but Eric Snodgrass takes it to another level with new technology and unlimited time to show US and global weather, while explaining it and providing great links.
For many people, weather is the ultimate small-talk topic. But for the farmers who feed the world, weather is huge – it can be the difference between a bumper crop and a total loss – so weather talk is anything but small. And Eric Snodgrass, Nutrien’s Principal Atmospheric Scientist – is proud to be an important voice in that conversation.
“I’ve been in atmospheric sciences for about 20 years now, and along the way I’ve developed a reputation of being able to explain weather in a way that makes it digestible and actionable,” Eric explains. “I wake up very early every day – and most mornings I don't even need an alarm clock – because it's engaging to look at a new pattern and try to figure out where it's going, and to share that prediction with the people who need it the most.”
|Skilling's WGN News Chicago professional headshot|
|Born||Thomas Ethelbert Skilling III|
February 20, 1952 (age 70)
Aurora, Illinois, U.S.
|Notable credit(s)||WGN-TV, WITI|
|Family||Jeffrey Skilling (brother)|
The oldest of four children, Tom Skilling was born in the Chicago suburb of Aurora, Illinois, where he attended West Aurora High School. While in high school Tom began his career in broadcasting at age 14, working for WKKD and WKKD-FM. Skilling observed that WKKD's forecasts were inaccurate because they were for Chicago and not Aurora, so he approached WKKD and offered to forecast the weather for several days, with the condition that if his forecasts were accurate he would be hired to host his own weather program. Skilling's forecasts were accurate, and he was hired to forecast Aurora's weather three times a day. At age 18, he began working at WLXT-TV in Aurora.
Skilling attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison to study meteorology and journalism. While attending the University of Wisconsin–Madison, he worked at WKOW-TV and WTSO radio, both in Madison. In 1975 Skilling took his first major-market television position, becoming the lead forecaster at WITI-TV in Milwaukee. At WITI, he delivered his forecasts with the "help" of the station's resident sock puppet mascot, Albert the Alley Cat.
Skilling returned to the Chicago area and joined WGN-TV on August 13, 1978. He is currently WGN-TV's chief meteorologist and is rumored to be the highest-paid local broadcast meteorologist in the United States. He also writes the daily weather column for the Chicago Tribune. That feature, Ask Tom, ceased in August 2022 with a redesign of the weather page.
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, perhaps best highlighted by his correctly predicting the Groundhog Day blizzard in 2011 almost two weeks before it paralyzed the Chicago area. "Skillful", as his late WGN-TV 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-TV.
Skilling is under contract at WGN until 2022.
He also narrated the documentaries It Sounded Like a Freight Train and When Lightning Strikes for the station, about the science and dangers of tornadoes (the documentary also includes the Chicago area's history of tornadoes) and lightning.
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.
Asteroid 91888 Tomskilling, discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey in 1999, was named in his honor. The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on October 8, 2014 (M.P.C. 90379).
Who else knows these meteorologists/atmospheric scientists?
Who's you favorite.
I thought that you'd mentioned Jim Cantore from the Weather Channel before.
Please delete this post. Thanks.
You're certainly one of my favorites, especially considering all that you generously provide at Marketforum!
For many years back to the 1980s when I had WGN, Tom Skilling was my favorite even though I've always lived in the SE US. This goes way back to before I started trading. I remember his often showing the European model's maps more than any other. He used to love the Euro! He would go through so many maps in a very short period time. I always wished he had more time.
Here's another one up there with Skilling and the BEST when it came to severe weather.
This is pay walled but joj gets it.
Thanks for the compliment, Larry.
Considering how much I respect your weather knowledge and recognize your great skill at repeatedly being able to see weather events well into the future that will affect the price of commodities, that was an extreme high end compliment for me!
I was on WEHT-TV in Evansville IN from 1982-1993.
Here's a weather-cast from 1988.
I was #1 in weather for many years in our market. In 1985, I was even tied for #1 with the very popular, long lived news anchor (David James) at WFIE our main competition.
I had the best forecast accuracy and during most of those years, was the only meteorologist in the market but there were a couple of problems.
The biggest one is that during those 11 years, we never had a radar. Not at the station and also no line to the local radar in Evansville at the airport. So when I cut in with severe weather warnings, I never once showed a radar picture.
Seems insane. I made a case numerous times to management to get a radar, especially a Doppler radar system, starting in the late 1980's when there were 2 different types of Doppler Radars being used by tv stations(before the NWS installed the NEXRAD Dopplers).
In 1990, I was contacted by a Doppler radar salesman in Bloomington, IN who had just got messed over by WFIE on a deal to sell a Doppler. They were going to buy it from a company in MN, associated with their owner, after he did all the survey work and led him on........then dropped him.
He wanted to sell the same system to us at cost (and would do all the work for almost nothing) in order to sabotage the WFIE marketing scheme. His cost was $55,000 but he sold them fo $80,000.
He told me the entire plan by their general manager to use it to promote weather and obliterate my #1 status for weather in the market. We were scheduled to lose our NWS in a move that sent them down to Paducah, KY. A radar beam from 90 miles away, in Paducah, because of the curvature of the earth, is 10,000 feet above the ground and unable to actually see tornadoes at that distance.
People in Evansville were extremely upset. I even did a 30 minute show, called "Blind to Disaster" going to Washington DC to interview our reps from IL, IN and KY to see what they were going to do to stop this.
So WFIE planned to debut their Doppler with a huge christening ceremony, that included local government(the mayor playing a big role) and market this to residents as the replacement for the NWS radar moving 90 miles away. When severe weather/tornadoes threatened, just watch WFIE's weather to get the Doppler radar images......not Mike Maguire at WEHT that didn't even have a radar of any kind.
This particular Doppler (Collins) couldn't even measure winds(speed or direction). It was mainly a turbulence detector that planes used. However, viewers would never know that.
I took notes for 30+ minutes from this guy for details to pass on to my news director, Jon Hmurovic and general manager, Ernie Madden. Then called him back the next day with questions to be certain this was for real and with a plan on how we would actually steal WFIE's thunder. Get the doppler radar BEFORE them.
I took it to our news director who was like me.....WOW! What a chance to get something we really needed anyway but at cost and use it to beat the competition at their own game.
Our general manager was in Joplin, MO at the time at the other Gilmore Broadcasting, sister station. He made the call to the GM in his office and had it on speaker phone so that I could fill him in on all the details that I'd just told the news director.
When the GM got the call, he immediately responded with "Dopper radar?? Nobody would ever watch television to see a Dopper radar!!
His exact words. The call ended right after that.
So WFIE did debut their Collins Dopper radar exactly as the salesman described.
And they promoted it constantly. And people paid attention.
TV stations do research to survey viewers opinions constantly. That's how I knew that I was #1. Management never told me(because they don't want you to know things that gave you ammo in negotiating a better salary/contract) but I had a friend, Stan Newman who was production manager, who was privy and would tell me "you got them by the balls"
Anyways, they suddenly showed me the results a year after WFIE got their Doppler radar. A double digit number of viewers switched from our weather to WFIE weather and they make it clear that it was because WFIE had a Doppler radar.
The news director totally understood.
Then, we got a new news director. He only looked at the numbers and wasn't there for the dynamics which caused it. Mike Maguire's rating plunging............time to get a new meteorologist.
So in September 1993, when I thought that I was going to the GM's office to renew my contract. They dropped a bomb. You're being fired. I asked if there was anything that I could do?
No, we've already hired your replacement and he already has a house in Evansville.
Turns out that the news director came from Louisville and the station he was at had a meteorologist, Wayne Hart that he liked. So they lured him to Evansville with a pay raise and guess what? They bought a brand new ENTERPRIZE Doppler radar for $500,000 for him/the station.
Lot's of people upset and asking me what I thought of my replacement.
My comment was "he won't last very long".
They asked if it was because I didn't think he was that good?
When I was training him for 2 weeks, he'd told me some things that suggested he was like most talented tv people in this market size that have no family or connections in a place like Evansville, IN. They use it as a stepping stone to get to larger markets.
Then, I would follow up the response with, no he won't last because he's TOO GOOD to stay in this market.
I must have said it a thousand+ times since then. During severe weather, Wayne Hart is the best at communicating accurate, understandable, useful and sometimes life saving interpretations of what's going on using his Doppler radar.
Even better than Gary England in Oklahoma!
He's also outstanding/the best during non severe weather at passing on all weather information, though he doesn't have a flamboyant personality like some weather people.
I don't watch/listen/read weather for personality. It's all about the meteorology for me.
Wayne Hart is much better on tv than I ever was, especially in his element, using a Doppler radar during severe weather.
However, I can give anybody a run for their money in providing comprehensive, accurate and educational weather info here and do better than almost everybody in applying it to the markets.
To finish the previous story.
When I had 2 sons, born in 1988, 1990 I really didn't want to be just a weekend Dad, like all parents that are main anchors in broadcast tv are that work the prime, afternoon/evening shifts.
My daughter was already 6 when Deb and I married in 1985(from her first marriage), so I had accepted that schedule with her. She was already in school, Cynthia Heights and took the bus to her grand parents house after school(Deb drove her). Her grandma Jolly was wonderful. That was the only part of my job that I hated.
However, I really, REALLY loved my job. For awhile I was doing the Noon, 5pm, 6pm and 10 pm weather as chief meteorologist and only meteorologist in this market. We had a news person do the weather on the weekends but I would help them out sometimes with weather briefings via phone conversations and in severe weather would come in to help them with coverage.
As a tv celebrity in this community, I was treated extra special. During the 11 years on the air, I did over 300 speaking engagements and appearances.
100+ of them were to students that had been studying weather in their science class. I would always tell them that if I didn't need money, I would do my job for free because it was so much fun(but don't tell my boss).
I was in dozens of parades, even being the Grand Marshall. In dunk booths, master of ceremony for dozens of events, judge in all sorts of contests. And it was all big fun and meeting wonderful people. (we were told for several years not to judge beauty contests because the winner's family would love you and everybody else was mad and blamed you-and it was true)
Before meeting my wife, I enjoyed women's affection for me a little too much but thank God I met her just 16 months after my start date and got my morals straightened out.
This was ignoring the best part. In 4 decades of being an operational meteorologist and analyzing weather, often for numerous hours a day, there have been few exceptions to me enjoying it greatly the entire time.
Those exceptions were on weekends when I had a huge trade on and the weather models suddenly changed..........and I was stuck in a position that was going to lose money when the market opened up on Sunday Night(or Monday morning in the old days)
I'm stating this to tell you how much I loved that job and how tough a decision it was going to be for me to part ways so that I could be a good father.
I decided in 1990, that I was going to go back to school to take a few classes to get my teaching certificate and teach high school physics, science or math to be on my kids schedule.
I got copies of my college transcripts from the University of Detoit, Eastern Michigan University and University of Michigan. UM is where I had the Atmospheric and Oceanic Science degree and all the math, physics and chemistry requirements and then some.
I only needed a few classes to teach and honestly, looking back I think any school would have leaped for an opportunity for the celebrity meteorologist to teach at their school if I showed them my transcripts with no teaching stuff..
Indiana is a great state in which to work as an educator. The certification process for in-state teachers is overseen by the Indiana Department of Education and is outlined below to help you learn how to become a teacher in Indiana.
In fact, I already had offers from Henderson Community College to teach classes there with no teaching background but I was just too busy at that time.
But something else that I'd never heard of in my life emerged out of nowhere. It's also why I'm here, at this site today.
More on the next page.
So I was loving my job so much, that I frittered away the week day time frame to get my teaching certificate but was using it to be with my pre school sons every morning/early afternoon before dropping them off at Old North Pre school for afternoon classes.
For instance, I purchased "Hooked on Phonics" and taught them both to read in pre school. My oldest son, Quinn was reading at 2nd grade level before kindergarten and on the 2nd hooked on phonics book.
When he started grade K and could read all the books fluently from the first day, his friends thought that he was making up the words because all the other kids came there to LEARN to read.
The younger one, Mac was gifted at math. When Quinn, 3 grades up did math homework in grades, K and 1, I taught the younger one the same math in preschool and he picked it up immediately.
When Quinn was learning to count by 5's in 1st grade, his younger brother still over a year away from Kindergarten learned it immediately and then blew my mind by showing off by counting backwards from 100 to 0 by 5s.
A year before Mac was to enter grade K, I thought it would be a waste of a year for him to be in pre school again with the kids still trying to learn their ABC's. Quinn had already gone thru K and most of 1st grade and Mac already could read as well as and do math better than most kids in 1st grade.
And so, it turns out that I found something that I loved just as much as doing the weather. Viewing the world thru the eyes of a young child, especially one living at home with you.
So I made an appointment and took Mac to Scott School to see the counselor after I told them that I wanted to enroll him in school (K) a year early.
He took Mac in a room for an hour and did various tests on him. When he came out, he said something like "He's smarter than most of the kids that we have right now that are finishing kindergarten. He can read and do math already. If you want me to enroll him in kindergarten next Fall, I will do that........however if it was my son, I wouldn't do it."
Then he went on to explain maturity differences that were especially important for boys. This really flipped a switch on in my head about what I'd overlooked. I played alot of sports in school and remember the difference a year could make at the younger ages, for instance.
Anyway, that's the backdrop to my commitment to being a part of their lives since they were born.
Back to my career
When Quinn, the older one started Kindergarten in September 1993, I was still the chief meteorologist at WEHT. When I took him to the bus stop early in the morning, I literally cried on the way back because for the first time in my life, I was not going to see him any more from Monday-Friday. He would be in bed sleeping for hours when I got home from work.
I hadn't followed thru with my plans to replace my really fun career and now I would never be seeing my sons anymore one they started school.
My daughter was already in 8th grade and I was used to being a weekend dad with her in school when Deb and I married. She ALWAYS did extremely well, getting straight A's and I take no credit in her early learning. But now, the same thing was going to happen with her younger brothers and I was not prepared for that emotionally. To being a weekend dad.
Hey, I get it that parents do what they have to in order to make a living and support their family and sometimes that means working the afternoon shifts, or traveling out of town for much of the year. I had just hoped to not be one of those parents for all my kids.
But then, a kind of miracle blessing in disguise happened.
That's on the next page:
A week after Quinn started grade K, I got a shock of a life time.........was fired as described earlier.
No fault of my own but it happened.
The scariest part is that Deb and I took out a 2nd mortgage on our house to get a ton of borrowed money to pay cash for a house, then fix it up, that we bought for her parents in August 1991.
We were living from pay check to pay check and it required both our incomes.
I had 2 weeks left of pay while training the new guy, Wayne Hart. 7 weeks severance pay, then unemployment for X amount of weeks for us to hold on until I could find another source of income or we could potentially lose everything.
What's interesting is that the day I was fired, I was totally stunned and scared.
Then, the next day I realized that whatever I did next, it would be what I really wanted the most, to be on my sons schedule but it took somebody else to force the right decision on me.
I kid you not, from that next day forward, I became manic with joy. People at the tv station and elsewhere were telling me how horrible and tough it must be and congratulated me for having such a positive attitude despite this tragedy.
No, it was the best thing that could have ever happened. I could never have quit that awesome job.
Turns out that I was the room Dad for my sons classrooms for grades K-5. Went on all the class trips as a chaperone. Coached their basketball, baseball, soccer and chess teams(which morphed into me being a chess coach at 5 schools to 3,700 kids). Was the commissioner/treasurer for some of their sports teams. Took them to piano lessons for numerous years. Was their Cub Scout den leader and Boy Scout adult leader as well as for countless other boys. Taking them and other boys to places like the Rescue Mission for homeless men to help out.
Getting fired by WEHT was the best bad thing to have ever happened!
But how did we find the extra income to replace my salary?
That's on the next page:
I mentioned earlier that I was going to quit my tv meteorologist job and teach high school physics, math or science to be a 7 day a week dad but never went back to school(wouldn't have had the time).
Something unexpected happened.
In 1988, we had a severe, widespread drought in the Midwest. This is a very agricultural driven community and I'd become very tuned into weather forecasts that considered our farmers.
As the drought developed in the Spring, I was on top of it ahead of others.
Then, when we hit May/June, the headlines on the front page in the Evansville Courier were often "Corn and Soybeans were limit up again on dry weather forecasts" or the updated forecast had more rain and they were limit down. Then, they showed the prices.
I grew up in Detroit. We got the morning paper, Detroit Free Press and afternoon paper, the Detroit News and I don't ever remember the front page having headlines like this.
I had no clue what futures and commodities were. Seriously, no clue and I was 32 years old and a meteorologist for over 6 years(I spent 9 months in Cincinnati working for a private weather firm in 1982 for my first real job in the field). You have to also remember that there was no internet back then.
I'd made good friends with Tom Ruder, a broker for Edward D. Jones who did a financial report and gave investment advice during our Noon show on Wednesday's. I was actually in his wedding party. I got advice from him about investing in stock with him as my trusted broker.
I told Tom that everything I read about in the paper about the weather, I had already forecasted a couple of days BEFORE they were attributing that same weather to the extreme price moves of C and S. I asked Tom what the heck commodity markets were and how could I use them and my weather knowledge to make money.
He shot back that I should never throw my money away in markets like that. And his exact words were "it's worse than horse trading and by the time that you find out about the news, it's already in the price from traders that know more than you"
I trusted him and didn't pursue it. Then in 1989 we had a record cold December and the news headlines often discussed heating oil prices spiking higher from cold that I'd predicted many days earlier.
At that point, I decided to educate myself more with a strong feeling that there must be some way for me to make a lot of money in weather markets like that. I was busy raising my kids and doing 4 shows a day Noon, 5pm, 6pm and 10pm without a lot of free time but got a library card to use the library's of both local colleges.
In 1991, I read a dozen books that they had on commodities..........all of them. Called the CBOT and had them mail me all their historical price charts. I called countless places, including commodity trading firms to see what I needed to do to open an account and trade. I identified all the potential weather markets and got price charts and weather for time frames that caused big moves.
In January 1992, I sent $2,000 to Ira Epstein to open an account. All the other places required a minimum of $5,000 but $2,000 was all the savings that we had, so I picked them. They included free phone quotes. I was assigned a full service broker charging $60/round turn. I called the broker many times to try to get feedback about how to place my first order. He knew that I was clueless.
I also subscribed to a monthly charting service. At the end of each day, I got the open, close, high/low of 15+ different commodities and hand plotted this on a chart. Never missing a day doing this for 3 years. I always drew trend lines and sometimes computed crude stochastics and RSI and moving averages.
Anyway, I made my 1st trade buying `1 contract of February heating oil on a Friday in January 1992, based on a change in the weather models to much colder. On Monday, the heating oil was up over 2c and I made almost $1,000 or 50% on my money.
I called the broker on Monday, to tell him to sell and his response was "I didn't know that you wanted me to buy on Friday, so you don't have anything to sell"
I argued with him but he insisted that I messed up and didn't properly place the order with him.
Wow, I was positive that I made that clear and this guy was ripping me off. So I called around and got the number to the FTC and CFTC. They told me that my order was on a recorded line and filled me in on lots of other stuff.
On Tuesday, I called the broker back and told him who I spoke with and asked him to play back the recording of me calling in the order. His response was "I was just kidding yesterday, can't you take a joke?"
At that point, I had nowhere else to turn to but figured the guy knew better than to try to pull any more fast ones on me.
So my account grew pretty quickly based entirely on big, sudden changes in the weather forecast. It was unbelievable that it took the market so long to react to weather updates back then after they came out. Almost every trade made money for me.
I was getting my weather from the equipment at the TV station +having Accu Weather fax me the 10 day MRF every morning. I lived 40 minutes away from the station.
There really wasn't that much data either. Just the 10 day MRF that came out very early and the 48 hour NGM that came out 2 times/day. The markets were only open from 9:30 am to 1:15 pm(grains).
There was no internet back then.
I shopped around to see what it would cost me to get the data at home. A system with a satellite dish, printer and other items was 10K.
I knew that I had to have this in order to do best. As soon as the account grew from 2K to 15K, in 1993 I turned around and used 10K for the equipment and paid $275/month to WSI for them to send it to the dish on my roof. Knocked the equity way down but improved my trading.
Later that year, in September 1993 when I got fired, there was no way I could take money out of the account to replace income. The account was back up to 15K or so.
In case this didn't work out, I started working on getting the American Meteorological Society's seal for weather consulting and doing things like testifying in court in late 1993. I already had the AMS seal for broadcast television.
Several months after getting fired from WEHT, I got a call from the competition, WFIE wanting to hire me.
I had numerous discussions with them and I really, really wanted to take the position but it was going to greatly interfere with my family life, so I kept stalling.
They finally said that the next Monday, they had to have an answer. It just so happened that I also had a big trade on over that weekend. On that Monday morning, before calling them, I made almost as much money as they were offering me to work there. A years worth of income for me over 1 weekend.
That made it easy to say no.
By June of 1994, I'd grown the account to 25k from 2k in 2.5 years and bought the satellite system for 10k and had been taking money out to replace my income.
I remember telling my wife that this can't go on. Nobody goes without big losses. It just doesn't happen and it can't continue.
So one June Friday when weather maps showed a dome of death for the next 10 days,, I loaded the boat long with corn/beans. After the market closed, the 6-10 day showed Much Above temps and No Precip anywhere in the cornbelt.
I took my sons to Hartke pool to celebrate over how much money this trade would make us.
By then, I'd dropped the IRA Epstein broker to use their discount desk(he actually refused for a long time because he was likely copying my trades and making good money-so I had to make legal threats)
I'd picked up 3 new accounts with brokers to try them out and get fundamental information that I didn't have, each of the requiring 5K which I wired from the growing IRA Epstein account.
At all 4 places, I loaded the boat, actually going over margin on that Friday in June, 1994. This is exactly how I'd made 25 times my starting capital in 2.5 years. This trade was going to really make us wealthy!
I got up super early on Saturday to see the MRF, 10 day forecast coming out on my printer. HOLY SHIST!
The dome was gone, with a chance of rain. OMG, I was trapped and we would lose at least 50% in the account on the open, I thought.
I use to love beer drinking back then but started drinking immediately after seeing the writing on the wall for Monday morning.
I was up early Sunday to watch the maps print out, DOUBLE HOLY SHIST! Now, instead of a dome, the models were showing an upper level trough, tons of rain and cool temperatures. I was convinced that by Monday morning, EVERYONE would know this and both C and S would be locked limit down from the open with me trapped until Tuesday, when we might have another locked limit down.
OMG, this was going to be a disaster because 2 limit downs would not just wipe us out, it would cause me to be as much as $12 k in the hole with no savings and no job.
I broke the news to my wife. During the first year of my trading she begged me not to tell her about any of the trades because she was petrified that I would lose all of our money and is an extremely risk aversion type person. I opened the 1st account with 2k with her furious with me for doing it.
Now, her worst fears were going to happen. She wondered what I was going to do for income next. I couldn't believe that I'd just completely blown my entire new career over 1 weekend. I was 98% sure that the market would be locked limit down on the open Monday and just wanted to hurry up and get it over with.
The outcome and more next: