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PLEASE CONSIDER THE 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. Now that I'm no longer in television, this is my job and that's the reason 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.


Despite some recent mild weather, the past 30 days have been exceptional from the standpoint of cold, especially in my area. As you will see, the coldest temperatures in North America relative to average have been found in eastern Iowa, NW Illinois, and southern Wisconsin. Hooray for us!

During this extreme 30 day period, 4,682 record lows were established.

Additionally, 1,214 snowfall records were generated. Quite a stretch of weather.

During the past week the jet stream re-positioned itself resulting in a much improved pattern. Temperature rebounded and departures have looked like this the past 5 days.

Canada and the polar reaches have seen the most dramatic warming. We've seen our bounce with the jet in this configuration ahead of the coming upper Midwest snowstorm. highs will remain mild until Wednesday morning when the system passes and winds turn northerly.

Most readings in my area Tuesday are shown ending up 10-22 degrees above normal.

You can see why with the surface low cutting northeast across Iowa putting my region in the warm sector

In fact, across the southern half of my area temperatures will keep rising Tuesday night as the low heads for SW Wisconsin. Highs will be met around midnight or a bit later in Illinois. These are the projected midnight temperatures.

Dew points east of the Mississippi may get into the 50s which is pretty moist for late November.

The strong low, deep moisture and mild temperatures will create instability for thunderstorms. These are CAPE values late in the evening. Impressive for night-time hours in late November and sufficient for thunderboomers.

This are projected lightning strikes around 10pm in the evening.

The Storm Prediction Center has a slight risk for severe thunderstorms as far north as southern Iowa and WC Illinois..Even in my counties south of I-80 some of the storms could be capable of marginal severe winds and hail. There's a 5% risk of tornadoes all the way to far SE Iowa. That's slim but still significant for late November.

The flip side of the storm is what's called the cold sector NW of the surface low. Here a full fledged snowstorm is expected to break out Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Winter Storm Warnings are out for all the counties in pink from the NW third of Iowa, the SE half of Minnesota, and NW Wisconsin. It will be a white Thanksgiving up that way!

These are the latest snowfall forecasts as of Monday night for those impacted by the snow

NWS Des Moines.

NWS Minneapolis

The NWS Green Bay

Another significant factor all areas will have to deal with is wind late Tuesday night and Wednesday. That combined with snow up north could generate near white out conditions in the open country and very poor travel conditions through Wednesday, the worst late Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. More on the topic below.

These are the 10 meter wind gusts forecast by the EURO. Wednesday morning. Many gusts 50 to even 60 mph from eastern Iowa into northern Illinois.

As you would expect, a high wind watch is out for the potential late Tuesday night and Wednesday.

This is one of those storms that has all the Fixin's for a wide variety of weather! Fortunately, conditions will improve over all the Midwest Wednesday and for the most part Thanksgiving day should remain quiet as the next storm gets set to arrive for the weekend. It looks to be mainly a rain make for my area until Sunday when some light snow or flurries could come in on much colder air. I'll have more on round two in coming posts. We need to get this big boy out of here first. Roll weather...TS

Christmas is only a month away. Are you looking for something special for that hard to buy for person? Maybe you just want to treat yourself for being on the nice list! Well, here's an idea that can "give" any weather enthusiast a lifetime of pleasure. It's called WEATHER SCHOOL. What a person experiences here will open up the world of forecasting for years of enjoyment to come. Consider giving the gift of weather. Better hurry, only 20 seats left. You can get all the details below. is offering a very special and unique opportunity to learn first-hand the ins and outs of weather forecasting with one of the best meteorologists in the Midwest 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! Roll weather...T. Swails

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