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Happy birthday! That's right, we're blowing out 6 candles today for 6 years of hard core weather posts. When I kicked started the site little did I know it would turn into such a big part of peoples daily lives. I frequently get messaged from ladies and gentlemen alike saying how checking out the morning blog is a daily ritual, just like brushing your teeth. Who would have thought!

Anyway, I tip my hat to all of you who have put your faith and trust in my forecasts over the years.It's made me a better weatherman and given me a purpose, especially now that the TV world has no place for an old dog like me. To be honest, it's nice to be in control of my own destiny.

That said, to make it on my own I'm still asking for a voluntary subscription fee of $12 dollars a year, one dollar a month to keep TSwails going.Together we can (and we are) creating one of the best, most unique, and reliable weather sites in the Midwest. Your contribution of 3 cents a day, allows me to stay free of the corporate world and pour my energy into doing what I do best, forecasting the weather! We hope you see the value and hard work that goes into the site everyday. Your support in any way is sincerely appreciated. Thanks and roll weather. To donate click on the secure green box below.

By the way, somebody else is also having a big anniversary and that happens to be Chestnut Mountain Ski resort In Galena, Illinois. This is their 60th year of bringing the fun of skiing and winter sports to some of the most breathtaking slopes in the Midwest. The snow has come early and the snow guns have been running like a red dog. It all means the season starts early with the grand opening set for this Saturday, November 23rd at 9:00am. I'll be tearing up the bunny slope!

Nobody loves snow more than me and nobody appreciates it (and knows what to do with it) more than Chestnut. It only makes sense that this snow season TSwails and Chestnut join forces as partners to share our passion for "the white gold". Here's something I'm really proud to announce. If you purchase a $12 dollar yearly subscription to (see above), Chestnut will give you $10 dollars off a lift ticket through December 24th. We've got you covered!

We've also put together a special page that we call, the Chestnut-ski through winter planner. This page will keep you in the know with up to date information on snow forecasts, upcoming trends and patterns, as well as the latest weather conditions surrounding Chestnut and many other parts of Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin. You will find the winter planner on under the winter link and the heading Chestnut Mountain. CHECK IT OUR HERE.

Last thing I'll say, General Manager Mike "the Man" Murphy and his tribe are good people with 60 years of history behind them. Heck, it doesn't even need to snow for a great skiing experience at Chestnut. As long as it's cold at night (and most times it is) they are making and grooming snow. You owe it to yourself to visit the resort (if for nothing else) to enjoy the food, atmosphere, and spectacular views any time of the year. Once again, the slopes are open for skiing Saturday morning at 9:00am.

OK, with that lets take a look at what's ahead and Tuesday could see some showers early, especially over eastern Iowa and into SW Wisconsin and NW Illinois. There is a chance that some areas up around Dubuque, Galena, and points north could see a mix or change to some light snow but with marginal temperatures little if any accumulation is expected. The whole mess is gone by noon.

The 3k NAM has this for total precipitation.

Here's its snowfall forecast.

Wednesday looks dry and noticeably warmer. Highs should range from the mid 40s NE to the mid 50s SW. Some places may approach 60 near the Missouri border!

With the warm air in place that sets the stage for a rain event late Wednesday night and Thursday as low pressure scoots through Iowa. It looks as though many areas have a chance of seeing up to 1/2" of rain, maybe more in spots.

After a mild start, temperatures should start falling Thursday afternoon as the wave departs and the rain ends. Much cooler air will have temperatures back in the 30s to near 40 Friday and Saturday. Something else to watch Friday night and early Saturday is another fast moving low pressure that some models use to try and push light snow into far southern Iowa and parts of central Illinois. I have my doubts about it and for now think it's a long shot.

Then the focus flips to Thanksgiving week when a couple more strong pieces of energy are due to cross the Midwest. Models are very spread on solutions at this time but a strong SW flow aloft and a deep trough are strong indicators of a stormy pattern. Well above normal precipitation is likely in the 6-12 day period beginning before Thanksgiving and lasting right on through the holiday weekend. Some models even show some snow but the track of the system is really up in the air so I think its best to wait a couple more runs to get into the nuts and bolts of that situation. I would certainly keep an eye in it, especially across the northern half of the Midwest.

As far as precipitation goes, the GFS shows this through the end of the Thanksgiving weekend.

You can see that is well above the GFS 10 day precipitation departures.

Suffice it to say we are headed into a wet and rather active period of weather. On the bright side, at least through Thursday, temperatures will be on the up and up. Roll weather...TS

Don't forget, It's time to register for WEATHER SCHOOL! is offering a very special and unique opportunity for you to learn first-hand the ins and outs of weather forecasting with one of the best meteorologists in the country along with his team of expert meteorologists.

That’s right… You want to forecast right along with Terry Swails, well now you can. He’s teaching weather with TSwails newest program called WEATHER SCHOOL. The opening bell rings this January and you can be a member of the very first graduating class. The one-day forecasting seminar for weather enthusiasts will be held at his home in January. It’s not your typical run-of-the-mill school. There will be no tests, but Terry, Rebecca, and Nick will cram your head with so much knowledge, it’ll be spinning like a tornado before the day is over

You want to know the essential online sites to use for models, radar, and the basic weather tools? DONE! You want to understand the structure of models and the role they play? DONE! You want to be able to construct forecasts from the ground up? DONE!

WEATHER SCHOOL will be presented in a seminar-type format where you'll have the ability to ask questions and dig deep. You’ll get the scoop on data acquisition, model analysis, severe weather, and actual forecasting from the big dog himself, T. Swails. With 43 years of experience and an uncanny ability to break the science down, you’ll open the door to forecasting like never before.

Along with the head master T. Swails himself, meteorologists Rebecca Kopelman and Nick Stewart of KGAN TV will be there to lend their knowledge and experience to the discussion. It will be fun, informative, and factual! This is the day for you to see, feel, and experience what it’s like to be in the hot seat of a meteorologist.

The seminar will be held January 25th and will last from noon until 5:00pm. We have limited seating and the cost is $ 99 dollars per person. A catered lunch will be provided. Again..not a lot of seats so reservations with a pre-payment are required. Sorry, no refunds. If there’s enough interest, a second session will be added in early February. To register or get additional information send an email to

GIVE THE GIFT OF WEATHER. This might be the perfect gift for that hard to buy for person this Christmas. Along with a WEATHER SCHOOL admittance voucher, TSwails will send a special holiday greeting to your weather enthusiast if you give the gift of weather with the TSwails touch!



Purpose: To help weather enthusiasts understand the basics of forecasting and apply the knowledge and techniques learned to construct personal forecasts.


The essential on-line sites for models, observations, satellite and radar images, and general weather data.

Session 2: ANALYSIS:

Determining your objective goals. Short term, intermediate, or long-term. Understanding the process of analysis and its relationship to forecasting.

Model options and choices. What to use and when!

The GFS, EURO, NAM 3k, NAM 12K, Canadian, HRRR, MJO, ensembles, teleconnections, etc.

Locating, learning, and knowing what’s essential to make a reliable forecast.

The art and science of model interpretation: Using and understanding model output. Its called guidance for a reason!

Learn how to analyze key parameters such as:

Surface and upper air data

Vorticity and energy

Precipitation output

Wind and pressure


A simulation of the basic process using model output.

BREAK: A 25-30 minute recess to enjoy a catered lunch…


Thunderstorms, tornadoes, derechoes, and squall lines.

Soundings. What are they and why should I care?

Instability (CAPE) vs (CIN) Critical interaction involving moisture, heating, and forcing.

Uncovering the ingredients of a severe weather set-up.

TVS signatures. What to look for on radar.

Role of SPC vs NWS, and your local TV station regarding the warning process.

Simulated model driven forecast of a severe weather event/tornado outbreak


The key ingredients required for significant winter storm:

How to forecast the rain snow line.

How to forecast snow totals from QPF

Determining totals from snow ratios.

What to look for at the surface and at upper levels (500 and 850mb)

Model bias and determining the storm track

Simulated model driven forecast of a significant Midwest winter storm


An open period for attendees to ask questions regarding relevant topics or issues discussed during the day.


Some final words of inspiration from the events headliners

Once again, to reserve a spot or ask questions send an email to See you when the bell rings! T. Swails

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