CONSIDER THE VALUE PLEASE...TSwails.com 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.


The last 7 days models have been toying with snow systems of varying intensities for our area. At times some healthy numbers have been showing up leading to moments of optimism, at least for those who like their holiday white. Earlier today the hope was still in the hands of the GFS (and the U.S. based models) as they were the only ones showing much of a chance. Now that appears to be fading as the Thursday night run of the GFS has finally blinked.

Before I get to that, the odds of a white Christmas are never more than 65% in any given year over my area and far less than that in my southern counties. These are the national odds.

Here's a tighter perspective of the Midwest for easier reading. Again the odds in my specific area range from about 37% near the Missouri border to 65% up around the Minnesota state line.

Over the past few days there's been a significant model fight centered on a potential snow system for Monday of next week. As I hinted at above, it seems as though the GFS has finally taken the knockdown punch and is going the way of the EURO and Canadian. I expected that which is why I haven't had much to say about the overall threat. To give you an idea of what's happened with the GFS over the past day I offer this. The GFS snowfall forecast 24 hours ago. Such a pretty map.

One day later the night run has this. Bye bye snow in my area.

OK fine, just as I was ready to throw in the towel, the latest EURO came in and its snowfall forecast went from this on the morning run.

To this on the latest night run. A healthy shift north on the snow band.

For some added confusion the Canadian made a huge shift north and now has this for its snowfall forecast.

Looking at all the latest solutions, the GFS went from the furthest north on the snow band to now being the furthest south. The Canadian made the biggest shift north and the EURO is now somewhere in the middle. For now I think the EURO is a good compromise, but it still leaves most of the snow south of I-80. It also looks like the chances of a white Christmas in my area are slim. Even in the areas that get some snow Monday mild temperatures before the holiday will likely melt if off. This is a lousy pattern and I'm more than frustrated with the inability to accurately forecast trends more than 3-4 days out. I wish upon a star that this is not a sign of where this winter is headed.

In summation, I was hoping for a clearer picture of the Monday system and we may have found it in the smaller range of options. Even so, there's still plenty of uncertainty and another day or two is going to be needed to get the confidence level up. I'm sorry to be so vague but I'm just as conflicted at the models. Hang with me, I'll get it figured out. For now I say go with the latest EURO.

Beyond the Monday system, the weekend ahead looks quiet. Friday will have some passing clouds but temperatures will be near to slightly above normal. Then a strong cold front brings much colder weather for the rest of the weekend with highs slipping into the upper 20s Saturday and the low to mid 20s Sunday. Bah humbug! 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 8 desks still open. You can get all the details below.

TSwails.com 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 carolynswettstone@yahoo.com

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 carolynswettstone@yahoo.com See you when the bell rings! Roll weather...T. Swails

© 2020 Terry Swails