Whither the Weather Drama King

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(Photo: How many times have you wanted to wag your finger at Tribune weatherman Tom Skilling? Credit: NIU Office of Public Affairs.)

Ordinarily I find the snark over at Chicagoist a bit too overbearing even for me (yes, me). But I have to hand it to them on their Tom Skilling Weather Experiment, which kicked off on Monday. For five weeks, Chicagoist plans to compare forecasts from the popular Chicago Tribune/WGN weatherman with the weather that actually comes to pass.

Well, good luck, Tom.

As any Chicago local knows, Tom’s forecasts tend to be dramatic. It’s not that they’re often wrong. Just extreme. If rain’s on the radar, Tom tells us about the potential for tornadoes. Snow’s a-coming? We hear about possibilities for a 100-year blizzard. Heat wave? Ooh, how close will we get to 1995? You’d think he was in cahoots with Chicago’s other official weather whiner, Mary Schmich.

Granted, people eat this stuff up. Chicagoans like nothing better than to hear a good story. But my money’s always been on the independent folks over at Accu-Weather (or even on the Weather Channel‘s repackaged forecasts) rather than trusting Tom.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the history of local climatological mishaps he always (liberally) peppers into his forecasts, followed by how close we’re about to come to re-experiencing them. But most mornings I’d prefer to wake up without the drama.

God knows, I’m dramatic enough.

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What do you think?