Norman () is a city in the U.S. state of Oklahoma located 20 miles (32 km) south of downtown Oklahoma City. As the county seat of Cleveland County and a part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, its population was 110,925 at the 2010 census. Norman's estimated population of 124,880 in 2019 makes it the third-largest city in Oklahoma. Norman was settled during the Land Run of 1889, which opened the former Unassigned Lands of Indian Territory to American pioneer settlement. The city was named in honor of Abner Norman, the area's initial land surveyor, and was formally incorporated on May 13, 1891. Economically the city has prominent higher education and related research industries, as it is home to the University of Oklahoma, the largest university in the state, with nearly 32,000 students enrolled. The university is well known for its sporting events by teams under the banner of the nickname "Sooners", with over 85,000 people routinely attending football games. The university is home to several museums, including the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, which contains the largest collection of French Impressionist art ever given to an American university, as well as the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. The National Weather Center, located in Norman, houses a unique collection of university, state, federal, and private sector organizations that work together to improve the understanding of events related to the Earth's atmosphere. Norman lies within Tornado Alley, a geographic region where tornadic activity is particularly frequent and intense. The Oklahoma City metropolitan area, including Norman, is the most tornado-prone area in the world. The Storm Prediction Center (SPC), a branch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is located at the NWC. SPC forecasts severe storm and tornado outbreaks nationwide. Additionally, research is conducted at the co-located National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL), which includes field research and operates various experimental weather radars.
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