DENISON, TX -2011 will be forever known as the year of extreme weather. Joplin, Birmingham, and Tuscaloosa will all be remembered for significant tornadoes. North Texas had an interesting year as well, with at least 44 tornadoes recorded across northern and central Texas.
The 2012 severe weather season is fast approaching. Are you ready for whatever this year has in store? 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 on Thursday, February 16th, from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. The program will be held in the auditorium at the Grayson County College Center for Workplace Learning. The session is held in partnership with Grayson County Emergency Management.
The 2012 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 what you can do to keep you and your family 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 pictures of storms and over 30 minutes of storm video clips.
“We have quite a bit of new material for this year’s spotter training program”, said Mark Fox, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the Fort Worth NWS Office. “We will show some behind the scenes activity from last year’s severe weather operations, and will show how and why severe weather reports from spotters are so essential.”
The fundamental purpose of the spotter training - and of the storm spotter network as a whole - remains unchanged. “We could not do our job as well as we do without storm spotters. Radar is a great tool, but it only tells us part of a storm’s story. Spotter observations complement the data we use to analyze storms. The combination of spotter reports and radar data gives us the best possible picture of the storms and what’s going on inside them”.
The program is free and open to the public. “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. We will discuss severe weather safety tips. This will better prepare yourself and your family for the threats that storms pose”.
The Grayson County severe weather program is one of over 60 that the Fort Worth NWS Office will conduct between January and March 2012. 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 and the National Weather Service, visit the Fort Worth Forecast Office’s website at http://www.weather.gov/fortworth and on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/US.NationalWeatherService.FortWorth.gov.
-Information from the National Weather Service