The severe storm season of 2017 brought with it 36 tornadoes, 39 reports of thunderstorm wind damage caused by winds of over 75 mph, 14 reports of two-inch or larger hail, and hundreds of reports of flash flooding.

Unfortunately, there were 11 fatalities directly attributed to severe weather in 2017, eight were from flash flooding and three were from thunderstorm wind damage.

The National Weather Service in Little Rock wants to help you prepare for the 2018 severe weather season. To help get you get ready, the National Weather Service will be offering a SKYWARN storm spotter training program on Thursday, Feb. 22, from 6 to 8 p.m.

The program will be held at the Jeral L. Hampton Meeting Room, 114 West Main Street in Booneville, and is held in partnership with Logan County Emergency Management.

The 2018 program will discuss thunderstorm formation, ingredients, and teaches storm spotters how to identify the most dangerous part of a thunderstorm visually. Most importantly, discussed will be what you can do to keep you and your family safe when dangerous thunderstorms threaten your community.

The presentation will be in multimedia format, featuring numerous new pictures of storms, as well as new video from recent severe storm seasons.

This class is free of charge and no pre-registration is necessary. This class is intended 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 all interested counties in Arkansas.

“By attending this class, you will learn how to identify dangerous storms by sight, and learn how to communicate that information to help keep the people in your community safe” said Dennis Cavanaugh, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Little Rock.

The Logan County storm spotter program is one of many training sessions that the Little Rock NWS Office will conduct throughout the spring season of 2018. The National Weather Service in Little Rock provides forecasts, warnings, and weather services for 45 counties in Arkansas. For more information, visit your local NWS website at www.weather.gov/LZK.