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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.


I took the garbage out Monday night and was reminded of what December is all about. Readings were a good 30-40 degrees colder than the night before. These are the 24 hour temperature changes at 1:00 am.

The stars were shining but I didn't waste anytime looking with wind chills hovering several degrees below zero.

As the cold came in it squeezed out what moisture there was in the form of some brief but intense snow showers. Snow squall warnings were issued in some counties which is the first time I have seen that new form of advisory issued. Most areas had less than 1/2" of snow accumulation. Just enough to track a cat at my house. Much more was measured up north, especially in Minnesota and Wisconsin. These were the totals through 6:00pm

On the topic of snow a couple disturbances will swing through the Midwest over the next 48 hours with the potential to bring some white gold. The first is a very weak clipper that should bring a narrow band of snow from NW to SE through my central counties late Tuesday night very early Wednesday. Moisture is extremely limited and lift is brief and channeled. That will keep accumulations confined to a 30-40 mile wide swath. Snow ratios will be high, at least 15:1 so where it falls it will fluff up to an inch in spots, maybe a few locations pushing two. This is what the hi-res 3k NAM shows for totals.

The 12k NAM is slightly more robust in a few spots.

Here's the latest GFS

The next system is much better supported for late Thursday but again it goes further north with its heavier snows falling over Minnesota and Wisconsin. The rich get richer! The 12k NAM has this for totals up that way Thursday.

By the way, I should mention that the core of this bitter cold air mass lifts out rapidly and after Wednesday temperatures look pretty seasonal, maybe a bit above with highs by Thursday back in the low to mid 30s. The thing I really don't like about the pattern is the lack of moisture. and storminess up through Christmas. The EURO EPS ensemble shows this for 15 day precipitation departures through December 23rd.

That does not help our chances to get a white Christmas. However, on the plus side both the GFS and EURO do show much of what falls coming down as snow. This is what they show for snow from the Saturday disturbance. Please don't take this as a hard and fast forecast. All models have been having tremendous difficulty getting a handle on the pattern and discerning how energy will interact.and track.This is far from certain but at least there is some loose consensus on a threat. As of now the potential exists for a weak to moderate strength system that could lay down a 1-5" snow band in some part of the central Midwest yet to be determined. Hopefully that's better sampled Tuesday or Wednesday. Until then. we watch and wait


The GFS:

Enjoy the crisp day ahead, at least the sun will brighten things up. 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 10 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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