Associated Press

NORMAN, Oklahoma -- After a summer of record-breaking heat in Oklahoma, the state now could see 2011 become the driest year on record.

The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center says the return of the La Nina climate phenomenon likely means drought conditions will continue in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma associate state climatologist Gary McManus said Friday that the statewide average rainfall through the end of August is about 11 inches below normal at 14.16 inches. McManus says the driest year in Oklahoma in records dating to 1895 was 1910 with an average rainfall of 19.04 inches.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor report shows the western two-thirds of Oklahoma in exceptional drought and the remainder of the state in severe to extreme drought.