Oklahoma's first tornadoes of 2012 leave little damage

The first tornadoes of Oklahoma's storm season were reported Sunday evening in western Oklahoma, the National Weather Service in Norman, OK, confirmed.
BY MATT DINGER mdinger@opubco.com Published: March 19, 2012

The first tornadoes of the storm season were reported Sunday in western Oklahoma, the National Weather Service confirmed.

“We had several reports of short-lived small tornadoes out in southwest Oklahoma. Brief touchdowns,” weather service meteorologist Daryl Williams said.

“There were a large number of chasers and spotters out in Mangum and Willow, but we've gotten absolutely no damage reports. It looks like those are very rural areas,” Williams said.

Hailstones the size of tennis balls and limes also were reported to the weather service by storm spotters. The weather service will send someone out to those areas to confirm the tornadoes this week.

“If these do turn out, they will be the first for this calendar year,” Williams said.

Greer County emergency manager Glynadee Edwards said downed power lines were the only damage reported.

A single supercell moved across parts of Washita and Custer counties in southwest Oklahoma. The storm produced large hail and brief tornadoes, and it will continue to move northeast about 35 mph, the weather service said.

Additional storms developed over West Texas ahead of the dryline Sunday evening. More storms are expected to form over West Texas and move into Western Oklahoma with the threat for severe weather continuing.

The early forecast for the week includes a 90 percent chance of thunderstorms on Monday in the Oklahoma City area. Rain chances persist through Thursday in central Oklahoma, according to the weather service.

Temperatures will top out in the upper 60s on Monday in Oklahoma City. The rest of the week's highs will hover in the lower 60s during the day and fall into the 40s at night, the weather service said.

The Oklahoma City forecast:

Monday: Showers and thunderstorms. High near 68. South wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%.

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