OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Light rain fell over parts of Oklahoma Friday, providing a brief break from a heat wave that has been sending temperatures well above 100 degrees.
``There is a little bit of relief, with showers from southwestern Oklahoma to central Oklahoma bringing temperatures down a little bit today,'' said National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Sohl. ``The highs today certainly will not be nearly as hot as yesterday, when it was 107 degrees in Oklahoma City. We just might be able to keep it under 100.''
A more substantial break from the heat may come at the start of next week when a cold front is expected to move through the state.
The state has been locked in a pattern in which a high pressure ridge has left Oklahoma clear and hot for weeks at a time, with temperatures often exceeding 100 degrees. Thursday's hot spots were Stillwater and Bartlesville, which each registered a temperature of 111 degrees.
Central Oklahoma's rainfall total this year is 15.25 inches, about 7 inches below normal.
Already this year, 22 people have died of heat-related causes in Oklahoma, and the state Medical Examiner's office was reviewing cases that could boost this total. Dozens of other people have sought medical attention after being sickened by the heat.