Contact: Mark Fox FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
817.831.1157 Monday, February 16, 2015
Storm Spotter Training Program Scheduled for Saturday March 14th
By North and Central Texas standards, 2014 was an extremely quiet severe weather season. For the second time in three years, April 3rd was the big day, with tornadoes and extremely large hail from Denton to near Sulphur Springs causing over 500 million dollars’ worth of damage.
The National Weather Service in Fort Worth wants to help you prepare for the 2015 severe weather season. To help get you ready, the National Weather Service will be offering a free class at the SKYWARN severe weather program on Saturday, March 14th, from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The program will be held at Grand Prairie Police and Fire Public Safety Building (2nd Floor) in Grand Prairie and is held in partnership with City of Grand Prairie Emergency Management and the City of Irving Emergency Management.
This class is free of charge and no pre-registration is necessary. This class is for official storm spotters as well as anyone with an interest in learning more about severe weather. This is a part of an area-wide severe weather preparedness campaign, which will include spotter training sessions across 46 counties in North and Central Texas.
The 2015 program will discuss thunderstorm formation, ingredients, and features associated with severe and non-severe storms. Additionally, we will discuss non-threatening clues which may be mistaken for significant features. Most importantly, we will discuss what you can do to keep you and others safe when thunderstorms threaten. The program will discuss spotter operations and recommended reporting procedures. The two hour presentation will be in multimedia format, featuring numerous new pictures of storms, as well as new video from the 2014 severe storm season, with special emphasis on the storms which affected the region in April of last year.
“Once again, we have plenty of new material for the training session,” said Mark Fox, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the Fort Worth National Weather Service Office. “We combine the radar data spotter video to show the 2014 storms in detail, highlighting the subtle, yet important features.”
The fundamental purpose of the spotter training – and of the storm spotter network as a whole – remains unchanged. “Weather radar can only tell us so much” said Tom Bradshaw, Meteorologist-in-Charge of the Fort Worth Office. “The trained spotters in the field give important information for the warning process to work effectively.”
The program is free and open to the public. No advanced registration is necessary. “By coming to this program, you will learn a lot about thunderstorms” Fox said. “Even if you don’t become an active storm spotter, you will learn about how storms work and the visual clues you can identify when storms are in your area. This will better prepare yourself and your family for the threats that storms pose.”
The City of Grand Prairie severe weather program is one of over 60 training sessions that the Fort Worth NWS Office will conduct between January and March 2015. The National Weather Service in Fort Worth provides forecasts, warnings, and weather services for 46 counties in north and north-central Texas. For more information on severe weather, visit our website at http://www.weather.gov/fortworth, on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NWSDallasFortWorth and on Twitter: @NWSFortWorth.