BORN AND RAISED IN IOWA CITY
Terry Swails was born and raised in Coralville, Iowa. He grew up an avid Iowa fan and graduated from Iowa City West high school in 1974. With his love of sports he played baseball and basketball for some highly ranked teams.
When he wasn't participating in sports, he was watching the local weather on TV. His favorite weatherman was Conrad Johnson, a legend at WMT-TV (now KGAN). After high school, Terry went off to the University of Northern Iowa where an instructor recommended him for a weekend weather opening at KWWL-TV. Just 19, Terry interviewed and was hired for the position. In 2 months he was on the air and has never looked back. This February he starts his 41st year in television. Aside from KWWL, Terry has been employed at KDUB, KWQC, WQAD, and now KGAN.
Having worked and lived in Eastern Iowa his entire life,he's seen and been a part of some remarkable weather events. He rates the Parkersburg EF5 tornado and the Cedar Rapids flood of 2008 as the most impactful events of his career. He adds, "I saw things I never thought I would see in Iowa and I pray that I never do again"!
An avid storm chaser, Terry spent a week with legendary forecaster Tom Skilling in search of tornadoes in 2010. They saw their first tornado together (a violent multi vortex EF3) outside Wakita, Oklahoma. Terry and well known storm chaser Jim Reed also watched the eye of Hurricane Irene go directly overhead on the shores of Coney, Island in 2011.
With his vast knowledge of weather and unique perspective, Terry is also the author of several books. His first Superstorms was completed in 2005. He followed that up with Un-Natural disasters in 2008, and All I want to for Christmas is to see a Tornado in 2011. Terry collaborated with his wife Carolyn Wettstone on the last 2 books and has utilized her experience as a writer and former television anchor in a number of weather related projects.
Terry says he hasn't met a storm he didn't like. Tornadoes and snowstorms are his bread and butter and predicting the atmosphere is a challenge that never gets old.
Terry says this web site is a compilation of his life long love affair with weather. He points out "I put everything I would want as a meteorologist into the site. It's fun, informative, and even educational." He also adds, "I hope you find it enjoyable as well!"
THE VOICE OF REASON
Carolyn is an award-winning broadcast journalist and former news anchor. She’s won numerous awards for her reporting including a Regional Emmy during her tenure at KCCI-TV in Des Moines.
Carolyn is also a published author with two books including a children’s book on storm chasing entitled All I Want For Christmas Is To See A Tornado!
As a documentary producer, Carolyn presented a full-length documentary on domestic violence for the IMAX Theater in Davenport, Iowa. She’s also documented humanitarian efforts in Guatemala and led a cultural/educational exchange in Germany for a month.
As a storm chaser, Carolyn has captured a number of tornadoes but her most memorable event was watching the eye of Hurricane Irene pass over New York City while standing on a pier off Coney Island. Carolyn is excited about this latest adventure and will be handling all the social media providing photographs, videos, and blogs on the trip.
FROM SUNSHINE TO SNOW
Rebecca Kopelman moved to the Midwest in January of 2016. Before moving to Cedar Rapids, Rebecca was a forecaster for WRUF and WUFT in Gainesville, Florida.
She started forecasting in 2013 on WRUF-TV, a 24-hour weather, sports, and news station. Rebecca did evening updates before anchoring Mornings Live, a two hour live morning show. In the fall of 2015, Rebecca became the lead forecaster on WUFT-TV's First at Five flagship newscast, forecasting for North Florida 5 days a week.
Rebecca was born and raised in South Florida in the city of Plantation. She attended the University of Florida where she graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunications, a minor in Geography and a certificate of Meteorology and Climatology. She is currently enrolled in Mississippi State University's Master of Geosciences program with a concentration in Applied Meteorology.
Rebecca is currently the evening meteorologist alongside Terry Swails at KGAN/KFXA.