It's been so hot and dry this summer that climatologists say the southern part of the United States is going through an "exceptional drought."

Parts of Oklahoma have seen little rain since October — not to mention a string of 100-degree days. The steamy conditions are pressuring the state's water needs.

About 1.2 million people live in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, and they are putting a drain on the city's water supplies.

America's South, Midwest and Southwest are suffering through drought and high heat. Those regions have braved a string of days that saw temperatures in the high 90s, with heat indexes commonly reaching above 110 degrees.

But forecasters say much of the eastern U.S. will experience a gradual cool-down in the next few days. "New York and the D.C. area will drop down intothe lower 80s by Friday," the AP said, "while Atlanta drops to the upper 80s Friday and Saturday."