After his bold predictions of a ferocious winter storm failed to come true during a thrilling Bears overtime playoff win, WGN Chief Meteorologist Tom Skilling announced he was going to exile himself to Barrow, Alaska, the northern most city in the United States.
The highly respected Chicago weatherman had predicted no less than 10 inches of snowfall during Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, during Friday’s 9 p.m. broadcast of the “WGN News at 9.”
When Robbie Gold’s 49-yard field goal won the game for the Bears in overtime Sunday, the official total snowfall at the lakefront was measured at zero. As a result, the normally deadly accurate Skilling said he had “No honor
In a post-game press conference, Skilling explained his decision.
“I have failed the people of Chicago and, more importantly, those Bears fans expecting nearly a foot of snow during the game,” said Skilling, hanging his head in disgust. “All the models indicated for a shift in the gradient winds from the south to north, setting up a build-up of moisture along the lakefront and areas immediately west of the downtown areas. Obviously the low front was stalled over middle Wisconsin, causing a delay in the inevitable snow that will fall. Yet, that’s no excuse, admittedly.”
Asked why he felt the need to sacrifice himself over a wrong prediction – a common occurrence among meteorologist – Skilling said, “Bad predictions are for the [WFLD’s rival 9 p.m. weatherman] Rick DiMaios of the world. If I am anything, I am a man of integrity. I shall pay for my poor forecast with my freedom. Immediately following the ‘Ask Tom’ segment of tonight’s Sunday night News at 9, I shall vanquish myself with
honor,” he said.
“At 10 p.m. tonight, I will hang up my mic., dry the corners of my mouth and head toward the Aurora Borealis of the Icelandic north to receive my penance.”
“I have failed ye. Now leave me be,” Skilling said later as he waved to the six onlookers while climbing aboard a northbound flight from Palwaukee Airport.