WAXAHACHIE — As far as storms are concerned, North and Central Texas had it all in 2016. Texans saw record-setting large hail in Wylie, catastrophic flooding in Palestine, and 18 tornadoes across the area. To better prepare for any potential severe weather, the National Weather Service in Fort Worth has partnered with Ellis County Emergency Management to provide residents a SKYWARN severe weather program.

The National Weather Service will be offering the free class on Thursday, March 9 from 6:30—8:30 p.m. in McCafferty Hall on the campus of Southwestern Assemblies of God University. The class, which is free of charge and no pre-registration is necessary, is for organized storm spotters and anyone with an interest in severe weather. The NWS announcement states 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."

“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.”

This year’s program discusses thunderstorm formation, ingredients, and features associated with severe and non-severe storms. Several examples and cases for 2015 and 2016 will be shown. The program will discuss spotter operations and recommended reporting procedures.

The Ellis County severe weather program is one of 46 training sessions that the Fort Worth NWS Office will conduct between January and March 2017, with a session in each county. 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.

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