The Sedalia-Pettis County Emergency Management Agency will host the annual storm spotter training on Monday, March 11.

A press release from the Pettis County Sheriff's Department says the training is presented by the National Weather Service and will take place at the Pettis County Courthouse beginning at 7:00 p.m.

The training is open to the public and citizens are encouraged to attend.

With severe weather season right around the corner, it's time to begin preparing for the possibility of severe storms and their associated hazards.

The first reports of severe weather in the west-central Missouri area typically occur around late March or early April.

The sheriff's department says accurate storm reports from spotters play a pivotal and irreplaceable role in determining whether or not a storm is severe, as National Weather Service meteorologists, storm spotters, local emergency officials and the media work as a team to protect lives and property.

Storm spotter training is offered free of charge. The training is expected to last approximately 2 1/4 hours. The training class will take place on the 3rd floor courtroom at the Pettis County Courthouse.

Some of the topics covered will include:

Storm structure
Important cloud types and clarity on the confusing ones
Weather and safety tips
Sending weather reports to the NWS through the web, email, and social media

For more information, call the Sedalia-Pettis County EMA at 827-4800.