NORMAN — National Weather Service officials had been watching the potential for severe weather since the middle of last week and they will continue to monitor it Monday, Weather Service meteorologist Rick Smith said,
“We may be dealing with more of this tomorrow,” Smith said Sunday night from National Weather Service headquarters in Norman. “Of course, what happens tomorrow depends on how things pan out for the rest of tonight, but we're very aware that we're not done yet. Monday is going to be another round of severe weather. A lot of the key ingredients we had today haven't gone anywhere. The dryline is still west of us, and we're going to have more of the same tomorrow. Certainly we hope we don't see anything like this again, but we're going to be ready for it.”
Smith said forecasters had been “focusing on the Saturday-Sunday-Monday time frame and really emphasizing Sunday for quite a while now, saying it had the potential to be a very busy day. And unfortunately it has really panned out to be that way today.”
Smith said the weather system Sunday involved unstable air, a lot of humidity and very strong winds at the lower levels of the atmosphere.
“We had an upper-level storm system moving through the area aloft. We had a strong dry line that came close to Interstate 35 and just stopped there and that's where the storms developed,” he said. “With all the wind shear in place and the unstable air, they just took off and became very dangerous storms very quickly.”
Smith said the National Weather Service did not have a total number of storms to report as of Sunday night.
“We're still counting,” Smith said. “We had two main storms. We had a storm that produced several tornadoes along a path from Edmond up into Lincoln County.
“Then we had a second storm that developed here on the west side of Norman. We watched it right outside the window here, and it tracked across the north part of Norman. East of town, it developed a large tornado that we think was the most significant tornado of the day that hit out north of Shawnee and continued on up into southeast Lincoln County with multiple tornadoes again.”
Weather Service survey teams will go out Monday to assess the different damage areas.