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CONSIDER THE VALUE 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.


On a number of occasions I've mentioned 2013 as an analog for what this winter could be. So it's interesting that it appears as if we could see the coldest December temperatures since 2013 in the coming days. Aiding and abetting the process is the stratospheric vortex which is in the process of being displaced from its usual position near the North Pole. Here's what the highest levels of the atmosphere (10mb) look like December 18th.The red depicts where pressures are higher than normal.

If you aren't aware, cold air is more dense than warm air, a physical law of nature. So high pressure as it builds under the vortex exerts the "high" force necessary to build and dislodge the cold air and send it elsewhere. In this case it appears to be headed into the United States as the cold dense air is forced southward into Canada and the eastern 2/3rds of the U.S.

These are the actual height anomalies that are forecast at 10mb the next 16 days. Just look at the above normal heights that are roaring out of Russia, streaking across Alaska and then surging into southern Canada and the NC United States. That is quite fascinating!

At jet stream level (500mb), you can see the response with a powerful ridge over over the western U.S..and Canada funneling cold into the central U.S. December 10th. Cause and effect before your eyes.

The reason you should care shows up in the forecast temperature departures. There will be an initial shot of cold air about December 11th and another is due around December 18th. These are the December 11th temperature departures on the EURO.The strat-warming at work.

These are the wind chills forecast by the EURO early December 11th.

A word of caution to you and me. One thing that concerns me about the recent model trends to cold is that the MJO is not in a friendly mode to support such chill as it heads into warm December phases. Roughly 10 days ago we were led to believe a similar pattern change was developing and it failed miserably. While this all looks good on paper I am treading lightly and wondering if models will again back off on the depth and intensity of the cold in future runs. Keep that in the back of your mind. Meantime, CPC has really switched gears and now has a moderate risk of hazardous temperatures during the period December 11-17th.

The other factor that seems to have an increased potential in the longer range is the threat of snow. If the cold air gets back into the picture as models are suggesting, that could become a concern. We are a long way out before any flakes fly but I will be surprised if we don't see at least a couple systems with snow potential in the December 10th-18th period. The EURO EPS control shows this for snowfall out to December 19th.

The EPS mean is lower on amounts due to the average of 52 members and their varied solutions. Obviously there's a great deal of doubt at this range as to how storms will track and how intense they will be. The depth and amount of cold air will have a big impact in what eventually happens regarding snow.

It certainly looks like some interesting days are ahead of us once we get through this nice quiet stretch of weather that lasts into Monday. Enjoy it and roll weather...TS

GIVE SANTA A BREAK! 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 12 desks still 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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