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PLEASE CONSIDER THE continues to be a leader in catching and forecasting the trends of our extreme weather pattern the past few weeks. It takes a great deal of commitment, passion, and knowledge to stay on top of the swings. 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. Your support in any way is sincerely appreciated. Thanks and roll weather. To donate click on the secure green box below


We won't see much of it here the next 10 days but the snow pack over the upper Midwest is expected to really grow over the next 2 weeks. This is a trend which started with a major snow event in Minnesota and Wisconsin just before Thanksgiving. A couple more significant systems are on the way, starting with a whopper this weekend. To give you an idea of what's on the table, get a load of these long range snowfall forecasts which run through the second week of December.




The numbers won't be exact but the consistency in solutions is exceptional for a long range forecast. Just for kicks, I'll throw in the 46 day EURO weekly snowfall forecast which tacks on another month ending on January 12th.

Aside from the fact a lot of places in Minnesota and Wisconsin are looking at 1 to 3 feet of snow, most of it should be on the ground going into January and the coldest time of the year. It's going to be interesting to see whether or not that opens the door to some significant shots of cold air during late December and especially January and February. That much snow keeps cold air masses descending from the polar regions nice and fresh. It also makes it easier for the cold to penetrate further south. Snow is also reflective and sunshine (which is weak anyway at this time of year) is not absorbed like it is on bare ground. Cold breeds cold, especially when it sets on a mantle of ice.

I still contend that cold is coming in a big way this winter, it just looks delayed 2 or 3 weeks until we can get that MJO back into the cold phases. I see no reason why that should not happen That's essentially what the EURO's MJO shows as it travels through the warmer phases of 2,3,4,5, and 6 before going cold again about December 30th.

Now just because the MJO is in the mild phases does not mean you can't get cold for a couple days and even squeeze out snow, it's just harder to do. The other thing I see is that the MJO cycle is not highly amplified. By that I mean it's not out on the fringes of the phase diagram above. Nor is it in the null phases near the center but it's not that far from it. That could very well temper the warmth and keep it from getting out of control. Maybe 2-4 degrees above normal instead of 5-10.

Whatever happens, the snow this weekend up north is going to pile up and the sleds will be running hot. Good for my brothers and sisters in the Northland! Also, for a bit of seasonal atmosphere I'll throw in some snow showers for my area Sunday. Amounts will be light, generally and inch or less. It should not hinder travel in my area but it will be a different story from far northern Iowa into Minnesota and Wisconsin. Keep it in mind if you are hitting the roads to or from that area Saturday night and Sunday. That's all for now, roll weather...TS

SANTA CALLING! Christmas is less than 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 and learns here will open up the world of forecasting for years of enjoyment to come. Consider giving the gift of weather. Better hurry, only 13 desks left open. 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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