If you thought it was safe to put your foul-weather gear away for the season after Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow on Groundhog Day, think again.
While no shadow usually indicates spring is just around the corner, mother nature has other plans.
The National Weather Service Fort Worth has issued a winter storm watch for North Texas for tonight through Wednesday afternoon.
Areas most impacted will be along and northwest of a line from Gainesville to Cisco where accumulations of sleet and snow will likely impact main roads.
For the Dallas-Fort Worth area, cold rain late tonight will likely transition to freezing rain and sleet. Temperatures will hover closer to the freezing mark, which may help limit any accumulations to bridges and overpasses. This could still create hazardous driving conditions in some areas.
According to the NWS, there is still quite a bit of uncertainty with regard to all of the specifics, so it is important to check back for the latest updates for your area.
Storm spotter training
In 2019, North and Central Texas experienced 40 tornadoes and several damaging straight-line wind events.
These storms resulted in millions of dollars of damage. The 2020 severe weather season is not too far away, and the NWS and local emergency management officials want you to be ready.
The NWS will be in town for a free severe weather training session from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 18 in Perecho Hall at Southwestern Adventist University in Keene.
This class is for established storm spotters, anyone with an interest in severe weather or anyone who wants to learn more about the severe weather threats in North and Central Texas and how to be prepared. No preregistration is necessary.
Tom Bradshaw, meteorologist-in-charge of the NWS Fort Worth Office, said this year’s program will feature an in-depth review and study of the various threats posed by severe thunderstorms.
“By coming to this training session, you will gain a better understanding of Texas’ severe weather season,” he said. “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.”
The program will also review thunderstorm characteristics and features associated with severe and non-severe storms. Additionally, the program highlights severe weather safety and how you can report severe weather information back to the National Weather Service and local public safety officials.
For information on severe weather, visit weather.gov/fortworth.