Two tornadoes have been reported this evening as a strong cold front passes through the state, igniting thunderstorms along the way.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported a tornado touched down south of Manchester in Grant County shortly after 5 p.m. Troopers said numerous power lines are down and there are reports a barn was destroyed.
State Highway 132 has been closed at State Highway 11 due to the downed power lines in the area, the patrol reported. It is unlikely the power lines will be cleared before Monday. Manchester is near the Kansas state line northeast of Alva.
Television footage showed a tornado in northern Blaine County that passed near the communities of Carleton and Southard. The tornado caused hay bales to roll through fields and damage to a barn.
It also downed "a couple of power lines on a county road" but didn't cause much more damage, Blaine County Sheriff's Deputy Adam Austin said.
"It's just more of a scare than anything else, really," he said.
The Highway Patrol also reported Wood Road in Garfield County was shut down about 6:30 p.m. because of downed power lines.
Tornado sirens were sounded in Oklahoma City about 8 p.m. Sunday, as National Weather Service meteorologists noticed conditions capable of producing tornadoes.
"Observations from Doppler radar showed a thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado moving into Oklahoma City," Forrest Mitchell, a weather service meteorologist said.
"An area of circulation was indicated and the warning was issued. Fortunately, the circulation diminished drastically, and we were able to cancel the warning.
"Storms are not things, they are rapidly developing processes."
Chris Sohl, another meteorologist in Norman, said the official number of tornado touchdowns has yet to be determined, although he didn't doubt the veracity of the reports in Blaine and Grant counties.
He said the storm system that spawned the twisters also produced high winds and hail that caused "scattered damage" along the front.
Such a storm system "is not all that odd, but this early in March, sometimes it's a trick to get enough moisture up here for (atmospheric) instability," Sohl said.
This time of year, he said, "you start to get enough moisture in the area for storms, but you're still in the winter months and can drag in some cold air as well."
He said a cold front entering the state from the west is a primary cause of the storms. That front will drop temperatures into the 30s in most of Oklahoma on Monday, after highs reached the 70s and 80s in most of the state on Saturday.
The front also could produce snow, sleet and freezing rain, he said.
Softball-sized hail was reported at Buffalo in Harper County and baseball-sized hail at Taloga in Dewey County. Harper and Woodward County emergency management officials were not aware of any injuries or damages caused by the storm, though they did confirm golf ball-sized hail and some cloud circulation south and east of Buffalo that did not touch the ground.
Quarter-sized hail was also reported in Kiowa, Woods and Washita counties.
Strong winds have buffeted the western half of the state today, with gusts over 50 mph in some places and gusts over 40 mph in most places. A Mesonet station recorded a 65-mph gust near Seiling and Taloga.
A 6:30 tonight the cold front had moved across the northwest third of the state, and was moving through Kingfisher and Canadian counties. At Kingfisher, the temperature was 67 degree while a little farther west at Watonga the temperature had dropped to 45. Winds in front of the front were still strong from the south, but are strong from the north behind the front.
The high winds will shift from the southwest to the north overnight as a strong cold front moves in. Rain will change to snow over most of the area late tonight and tomorrow, with accumulating snows expected.
With snow and strong winds on Monday, significant reductions in visibility can be expected.
The high temperature in Oklahoma City today was 70 degrees. The expected high on Monday is 37, with a 60 percent chance of snow.
Rain totals as of 10 p.m., recorded by Mesonet:Oklahoma City East 1.76 inches Minco 1.68 Oklahoma City West 1.58 Spencer 1.58 Fort Cobb 1.53 Oklahoma City North 1.37 El Reno 1.34 Pawnee 1.18 Norman 1.15 Stillwater 1.14 Red Rock 1.12 Guthrie .96 Chandler .82 Newkirk .81 Lahoma .78 Marshall .66 Perkins .66 Watonga .64 Breckinridge .62 Hinton .56 Tipton .55 Medford .54 Alva .52 Chickasha .49