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Storm procedures program planned

Storm spotters trained for preparedness
The 2008 storm season in north Texas was one of the more violent in recent history.
With 34 tornadoes across the area and destructive windstorms, large hail and deadly flooding, the toll on life and property was significant.
To help local residents prepare for this year’s storm season, the National Weather Service in conjunction with Ellis County Emergency Management will be hosting a Skywarn severe weather program at the Midlothian Conference Center on March 3 from 7–9 p.m.
Anyone wishing to be part of the weather-warning system in the county is encouraged to attend and learn more about the signs of severe weather.
The majority of the severe weather season for this year is fast approaching and community members are being encouraged to prepare for emergency situations bad weather can bring with it. Not only is being prepared a priority, it helps to know which signs to pay attention to in advance of inclement weather.
The Skywarn 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 safety when thunderstorms threaten.
Other program topics will include spotter operations and recommended reporting procedures. The two-hour presentation will be in multimedia format, featuring numerous pictures of storms and nearly 25 minutes of storm video clips.
Gary Woodall, warning coordination meteorologist at the Fort Worth NWS office, said the program has a lot of new material with more detailed aspects that he hopes to share with those in attendance.
"We have some new material in the 2009 spotter training program,” Woodall said. "We will present the information in the form of a checklist for the attendees to utilize. Most of the storm photos and video clips are different this year. We have reworked many of our graphics. We’ll have more identification cases, and we’ll discuss the operational aspects of storm spotters in detail."
Woodall said the storm spotters throughout the area are great assets to the NWS as it helps them get a better idea of what is going on during a storm surge.
“We could not do our job as well as we do without storm spotters,” he said. “Radar is a great tool, but it only tells us part of a storm’s story. Spotter observations complement the electronic 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 Ellis County severe weather program is one of more than 40 that the Fort Worth NWS Office will conduct between January and early April 2009.
The program is free and open to the public and Woodall said even if individuals do not wish to participate as a storm spotter, the program is still essential for those wanting to know more about severe weather.
"By coming to this program, you will learn a lot about thunderstorms", Woodall 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 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.

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Posted by on Feb 25 2009. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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