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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.


About the only question we face weatherwise this Christmas is just how high temperatures are going to fly? As it stands now the odds of readings in the 50s look extremely good. In fact, according to the GFS most of my region should end up in the mid to upper 50s, only the area north of HWY 20 is expected to hold in the low 50s.

These temperatures are about 25 degrees above normal, give or take a couple degrees.

The GFS ensembles show odds close to 100% that readings will be at least 20 degrees above average.

These are the odds of highs greater than 32 degrees. Notice a 100% chance the freezing line pushes all the way north to Lake Superior and southeast Canada. That takes some doing with the weak and limited amount of sunshine we see in late December.

For some perspective on the holiday warmth in my immediate area, I did a little digging and found the odds of reaching a high of 50 or more going back to the 1870s runs 3 to 7%. It's happened only 5 times in Dubuque in roughly 150 years of data. Obviously we will be pushing records but unless things really get out of hand, we'll probably end up 2-4 degrees short in most spots. Here's the records for some major cities in my area the next couple days. Great traveling weather for sure around tall of the Midwest this year!


Now for the bad news if you like winter and snow...yeah that's me. I showed in a post 3 days ago how we were lining up for much colder weather to start of the new year. My argument was centered around the MJO and the EPO (getting into colder phases) I had the MJO showing this. Rolling out of the warm phase of 6 into the colder ones of 7,8, and a bit of 1.

Here's the temperature analogs of what 7,8 and 1 bring for readings in late December early January.

The EPO was very supportive of such a change going from positive to negative phases by late December on both the GFS and EURO.

Well, models are nothing more than theoretical mathematics and sometimes they don't add up when the data is flawed. Now look at the latest MJO. It hightails it out of 7 and starts cutting back towards phase 5 or 6.

Here's the temperature analogs associate with phases 5 and 6. Ugh!

That leads me to the EPO. The projected negative phase in the mean of the EURO and GFS is never attined. That is a big change and a big bummer for me.



Even the CFSv2 is seeing the trend. It had this for temperature departures Jan 4-11.

Today it has this Jan 4-Jan 9th. What a bust, especially here in the middle of the nation.

What in the tarnation is going on! Obviously models are having a very tough time with the pattern and are just not very reliable beyond 5-7 days ( an issue I've been struggling with for about a month). Until I see something concrete regarding future trends, I'm going to have to be very cautious as to what I buy into. That was quite a flip flop but I can honestly say I thought it was well supported or I never would have pushed it. Now I'm just mad at myself! I still think the cold is coming but at least for now, it's delayed and we remain on borrowed time.Time to get back on the horse and dig in. Roll weather...TS

A FEW WEATHER SCHOOL DESKS STILL AVAILABLE... 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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