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PLEASE CONSIDER WHAT YOU'RE has been far ahead of the competition in catching and forecasting the trends of our extreme weather the past few weeks. It takes a great deal of commitment, passion, and knowledge to do that. This is now my job and that's why I'm asking for a voluntary subscription fee of $12 dollars a year, one dollar a month to keep TSwails going. Together we can create 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. You support in any way is sincerely appreciated. Thanks and roll weather. To donate click on the secure green box below.


The theme I've been promoting the past few days is that next weeks winter storm is becoming better organized with each passing day. The system is digging and phasing and that's what you look for in a deepening storm. In fact, today's data has a closed circulation at both 850 and 500mb. Here's what the system looks like at jet stream level 500mb. The circulation center is near Des Moines Tuesday evening.

The 850 circulation about a mile up is passing through NE Iowa. The rule of thumb is the heavy snow falls NW of the 850 low where temperatures are cold enough to support it. That eliminates all of my area for any accumulating snow. See the center below passing just west of Decorah, Iowa.

With that path the heavy snow band continues to shift NW and its becoming clear that the NW third of Iowa, southern Minnesota and NW Wisconsin will do the shoveling and plowing Tuesday and Tuesday night. Below you can see the EURO snowfall forecast.

The GFS is likely too far SE with its accumulations into parts of EC Iowa and southern Wisconsin.

With the surface low heading over eastern Iowa Tuesday that will thrust enough warm air into my area for rain instead of snow.

This is a much warmer scenario than having the low pass south and some places in far SE Iowa and WC Illinois may give 60 a run Tuesday afternoon. Widespread 50s can be expected near and south of I-80. There might even be a few thunderstorms in that part of my area.

Finally winds switch to the NW Wednesday and much colder air surges in behind the storm. Holiday travelers can expect tough conditions in Minnesota and NW Wisconsin early Wednesday but conditions will improve by afternoon as the snow ends up that way. A new trend on the EURO is some light snow that could drift into my area later on Thanksgiving day. At this point little if any accumulation is expected. Thus. little if any travel issues. More on that in later forecasts. I just wanted to get it out there that my area will be spared the snow from the more significant event Tuesday. Roll weather...

By the way, if you want to learn the fine art of forecasting snow and winter weather, you should consider WEATHER SCHOOL which I will be presiding over January 25th. We'll get into the hard core nuts and bolts of forecasting in a way that makes it understandable and doable for you. Space is limited and we are over half way to capacity so get off the fence and sign up. Get the details below! 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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