Tom Skilling on channel 9 (WGN) is about the best weather man in all of Chicagoland. You can bet he is on the mark most of the time.
Straying off topic here....
Not just Chicagoland, Tom Skilling is recognized as one of the best TV weather-people in the whole country. So yeah, he's very good. But he makes mistakes too, because he's only as good as the info he's being given.
If you're passionate about the weather, you can't go with what you see on TV. Not even from WGN or The Weather Channel. Go to the source, the National Weather Service
. Don't just gloss over your local forecast, but read the 'Forecast Discussion' for your area. You quickly learn that the real meteorologists sometimes question the forecast that's going out to the weather outlets. They will say things like, 'going w/ a chance of scattered storms but concerned about areas to the southwest where dewpoints will be high and CAPE values are exceeding -blah-blah-blah'. Rarely will TV news pick up on that, and you get the 'just a chance of rain tomorrow' line from the local TV.
Maybe that's where Illinois forecasts differ from Florida ones.
And no, I have no plans to add a cow to my home weather station. I'm pretty sure my town has an ordinance against it.
On the other hand, our cat does know when storms are approaching. I don't know if he can hear/sense the thunder, or if it's just being a weird cat. He's scared of thunder, and always tries to be as close as possible to my wife or me during a storm. But 15-30 minutes before a storm, he'll start sticking really close to one or both of us. On more than one occasion his strange behavior has prompted me to check the weather, only to find out that something significant is on it's way towards us. Sort of interesting, I think.
...and back to topic.
I am glad to hear that our Florida friends are weathering the storm well. Having no desire to live anywhere that's hit by hurricanes, I can only imagine the joy in living through that.