Norman (pron.: /ËnÉrmÉn/) is a city in the state of Oklahoma that is located 20 miles (30 km) south of downtown Oklahoma City. It is part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. With a population of 110,925 as of the 2010 census, Norman is the third-largest city in Oklahoma and the 235th-largest city in the United States. The city serves as the county seat of Cleveland County.
Norman was settled during the Land Run of 1889, which opened the former Indian Territory and Unassigned Lands to American pioneer settlement. The city was named in honor of its first land surveyor, Abner Norman, and was formally incorporated on May 13, 1891. Today the city is known for its higher education and related research industries. Norman is home to the University of Oklahoma, the largest university in the state with approximately 30,000 students enrolled. The university is well known for its sporting events, with over 80,000 people routinely attending football games. The university is also 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.
The National Weather Center, located in Norman, houses a unique collection of university, state, and federal 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 predominant. The Oklahoma City metropolitan area, including Norman, is the most tornado-prone area in the United States. In addition to this, the SPC or Storm Prediction Center, a branch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is located in Norman due to its location. The facility is used for forecasting severe storm and tornado outbreaks in addition to housing various experimental weather radars.