Fort Worth

National Weather Service team offering severe weather spotter training

The leading edge of a storm system moves past Green Oaks Road at I-30 in late March 2016.
The leading edge of a storm system moves past Green Oaks Road at I-30 in late March 2016. Star-Telegram

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth along with the Fort Worth Office of Emergency Management and two partnering TV stations are conducting Skywarn classes on Saturday.

The event is free and open to the public. It will be at South Hills High School, 6101 McCart Avenue, beginning at 8:30 a.m. for basic weather spotting and 1:30 p.m. for advanced spotters. Doors open at 7:45 a.m. and organizers say seating is limited.

Skywarn is a volunteer network of severe weather spotters. The volunteers are trained to provide timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.

Participants on Saturday will learn about local weather, what causes severe weather conditions, how to recognize potential severe weather features, basic weather safety and how and what information to report.

Although they’re trained to provide information for all types of weather hazards, the main responsibility of Skywarn spotters is to identify and describe severe local storms, according to the NWS.

Information from the spotters, combined with Doppler radar, satellite and other data helps the weather service to issue more timely and accurate warnings.

In the average year, the weather service says, 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes occur in the United States. The weather service says it got more than 47,800 local reports of tornadoes, hail, wind gusts and wind damage in 2016.

Tom Uhler: 817-390-7832, @tomuh

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