In January of this year, 95 tornadoes were reported nationally, nearly three times the 10-year U.S. average of 35. Whether that trend continues is hard to say.
However, the start of severe weather season is approaching and the National Weather Service is preparing by offering free training for storm spotters.
Interested people need no background in meteorology, forecasters say.
People can help by joining the fleet of spotters in the field during stormy weather — or simply by calling in a report from the safety of the back porch.
To find the class nearest your home, check with your local weather service office, or click on these links:
Eastern Nebraska, western Iowa, including Lincoln, Omaha-Council Bluffs metro areas: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/oax/skywarn/outreach.php
South-central Nebraska, including Grand Island, Kearney and Hastings: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/gid/?n=severe_weather_awareness_schedule
North-central Nebraska, including North Platte: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lbf/?n=lbfspottersched
Panhandle and western Nebraska: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/cys/?n=spottertalks
Southwest Nebraska: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/news/display_cmsstory.php?wfo=gld&storyid=77886&source=0
Central Iowa, including Des Moines: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dmx/?n=spotterinfo