At times, the weather in Texas can be summed up with one word: unpredictable.

To better prepare for any severe weather, the National Weather Service in Fort Worth partnered with Ellis County Emergency Management and provided residents a free SKYWARN severe weather program.

The National Weather Service was held Thursday, March 1 in the Hagee Communication Center multipurpose on the campus of Southwestern Assemblies of God University. The class was for organized storm spotters and anyone with interest in severe weather.

Ellis County Emergency Management Coordinator Stephanie Parker said the course gave residents valuable tools to keep themselves safe.

“The National Weather Service, on a yearly basis, will come out to do a Skywarn class. They teach our storm spotters or want-to-be storm spotters or even just our citizens who are interested in learning about the weather that affects our area,” Parker said. “They talk about clouds, lightning, and hail, the difference between a watch and a warning and the difference between severe weather and non-severe weather. They also talk about tornados and how to spot funnel clouds.”

The NWS announcement stated that the class “is part of a regional severe weather preparedness campaign, which will include spotter training sessions across 46 counties in North and Central Texas.”

This year’s program discussed thunderstorm formation, ingredients, and features associated with severe and non-severe storms. The program addresses severe weather ingredients by taking a closer look at the meteorology behind the Canton area tornado outbreak. Additionally, the program highlighted severe weather safety and how you can report severe weather information back to local public safety officials.

Tom Bradshaw, Meteorologist-in-Charge of the NWS Fort Worth Office, said, “By coming to this training session, you will gain a better understanding of Texas’ severe weather season. Waiting until storms are on your doorstep is not the time to start thinking about severe weather preparedness. We hope you attend these free sessions to learn more about the severe storms that impact the region every year.”

The Ellis County severe weather program is one of 46 training sessions that the Fort Worth NWS Office will conduct between January and March 2018 with a session in each county. For more information on severe weather, visit the website at http://www.weather.gov/fortworth, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NWSDallasFortWorth or on Twitter @NWSFortWorth.

Other classes in the region can be found on the full schedule http://www.weather.gov/fwd/skywarnsch?sptrsch