The 2008 storm season in North Texas was one of the more violent in recent history.

Thirty-four tornadoes were reported across the area, and destructive windstorms, large hail and deadly flooding all made appearances in our area. The toll on life and property was significant, with many casualties and damage in the tens of millions of dollars.

The bulk of the 2009 severe weather season is fast approaching. Are you ready for whatever this year has in store? Do you have a severe weather plan at your home and your workplace? Can you recognize the clues that suggest large hail, flash flooding, or a tornado is possible? Do you want to become part of the severe weather warning system in your county?

As part of its area-wide weather preparedness campaign, the National Weather Service in Fort Worth will answer these and many other questions at the Skywarn severe weather program from 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, March 3. The program will be held at the Midlothian Conference Center and will be held in partnership with Ellis County Emergency Management.

The 2009 program will discuss thunderstorm formation, severe weather production and features associated with severe storms. The presentation will also review tornado formation and behavior, non-threatening clues which may be mistaken for significant features and safety when thunderstorms threaten. The program will discuss spotter operations and recommended reporting procedures. The two-hour presentation will be in multimedia format, featuring numerous pictures of storms and nearly 25 minutes of storm video clips.

For more information on severe weather and the National Weather Service, visit the Fort Worth Forecast Office’s Web site at