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NATIONAL NEWS VIDEO

Chilly days should be followed by more rain

POSTED: December 29, 2008 5:00 a.m.

If this week’s weather pattern is starting to seem a little familiar, it’s not your imagination.

Much like earlier in the month, North Georgians will have to bundle up for a couple of cold, windy days and then break out the umbrellas for a few days of off-and-on showers, according to forecasts.

Today’s high may not creep out of the upper 30s and Sunday’s gusty winds will stick around, according to Frank Taylor, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Peachtree City. Temperatures should climb into the mid-40s by Tuesday and continue warming up for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Taylor said.

Rain starts moving into the forecast on Christmas Eve, but those of you who have been asking Santa Claus to bring lots of rain for Lake Lanier shouldn’t get your hopes up too much.

"It doesn’t look like it’s going to be real significant at this point, but (Saturday and Sunday) Gainesville had about an inch," Taylor said. "Every inch or two we can get when it comes around, I’m sure that will bode well."

Since the steady pattern of rain began Dec. 9, Lake Lanier has risen from 1,051 feet above sea level, where it was flirting with another record low, according to the National Weather Service. Lanier was at 1,052.56 feet as of Sunday night, according to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Web site. Full pool is 1,070 feet.

There is a 40 percent chance of rain for Christmas Eve and a 50 percent chance of showers on Christmas Day. And, no, it’s not going to be cold enough for a white Christmas. The high
temperature for Christmas Day is expected to be in the upper 60s. After this week’s cold snap, the weather should remain seasonably mild through the beginning of the new year, Taylor said.

Experts say not to expect December’s trend of rainy days to continue throughout the winter.

State climatologist David Stooksbury said though recent rains have upgraded the region’s status from exceptional drought — the worst — to merely extreme drought, the long-range forecasts call for a dry winter.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s most recent climate outlook says Georgia has an increased possibility of below-normal rainfall for January through March.



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