The National Weather Service will be in town for a free severe weather training session.

In 2019, North and Central Texas experienced 40 tornadoes and several damaging straight-line wind events. These storms resulted in millions of dollars of damage.

The 2020 severe weather season is not too far away, and the National Weather Service and local emergency management officials want you to be ready.

To get ready, you are invited to this year’s SKYWARN Storm Spotter class. The National Weather Service will be offering this free class on Thursday, March 5, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The program will be held at the Coleman Junior High Fine Arts Center in Waxahachie and is held in partnership with Ellis County Emergency Management.

This class is for established storm spotters, anyone with an interest in severe weather, and/or anyone who wants to learn more about the severe weather threats in North and Central Texas and how to be prepared.

This is part of a regional severe weather preparedness campaign, which will include spotter-training sessions in many counties in North and Central Texas. Other classes in the region can be found on the full schedule at www.weather.gov/fwd/skywarnsch?sptrsch. This class is free of charge and no pre-registration is necessary.

This year’s program will feature an in-depth review and study of the various threats posed by severe thunderstorms. The program will also review thunderstorm characteristics and features associated with severe and non-severe storms.

Additionally, the program highlights severe weather safety and how you can report severe weather information back to the National Weather Service and local public safety officials.

“By coming to this training session, you will gain a better understanding of Texas’ severe weather season,” said Tom Bradshaw, meteorologist-in-charge of the NWS Fort Worth Office. “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 over 35 training sessions that the Fort Worth National Weather Service Office will conduct between January and March 2020. The National Weather Service in Fort Worth provides forecasts, warnings, and weather services for 46 counties in North and Central Texas.

For more information on severe weather, visit our website at www.weather.gov/fortworth, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NWSDallasFortWorth or follow us on Twitter, @NWSFortWorth.