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Tom Skilling, dean of Chicago TV weather forecasters, is resigning

Longtime WGN-TV chief meteorologist Tom Skilling announced his retirement on the evening news Thursday.

Always a sunny presence no matter the weather in Chicago, Skilling predicted a stormy fall and then hit devoted audiences with the news that he had reached the end of his remarkable weather forecasting career.

“I’ve seen people do this before, and there’s no formula,” Skilling said. “I will be retiring at the end of February after 45 amazing years at this incredible television station.”

Skilling, 71, started at WGN-Ch. 9 on August 13, 1978, has been a familiar and amiable presence on Chicago broadcasts for decades, expertly and calmly navigating the city’s often unpredictable weather patterns for generations of TV viewers.

On Thursday, he discussed his decision with a montage of clips that tracked his career in the background, from the fresh-faced and hirsute rookie weatherman delivering the weather forecast in his Channel 9 jacket to a loved one joking with the station’s long-time star, Bozo. clown.

“It’s been a great career,” Skilling said.

More to come.

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