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Rain stopping, but Lake Lanier is rising, slowly

POSTED: January 5, 2009 5:00 a.m.
If the forecast holds, Gainesville-Hall County will end 2008 about 6 inches below normal in total rainfall.
As of 3 p.m. Sunday, the area had received 48.47 inches of rainfall for the year, compared to a normal total of 54.44 inches, according to AccuWeather.

Comparatively, the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, which couldn’t provide annual totals for the Gainesville-Hall area, said the Atlanta area had received 41.43 inches for the year, compared to a normal 49.8 inches.

A wetter-than-normal December has helped boost rainfall totals in what has been another rainfall deficit year.

AccuWeather says the area has received 5.9 inches for the month, or 1.86 inches over the normal 4.04.
Concerning the recent weather pattern, “we get regular weather systems that come through on a regular basis and at least most of them have been able to produce rainfall,” said Brian Lynn of the National Weather Service.

In addition to area lawns not get the soaking they’ve needed this year, dry land has replaced water in many places on Lake Lanier.

Full pool is 1,071 feet above sea level and Lanier is at 1,052.92 feet — or nearly 18 feet below the normal level.

The level had dropped to 1,050.95 feet on Dec. 9 before it began rising. The record low is 1,050.79 feet, set on Dec. 26, 2007.

The last time the lake level was higher than it is now was Oct. 24, when it was at 1,052.98 feet.

Rain shouldn’t be much of a factor in coming days, according to the National Weather Service.

Dry weather is in the forecast until Thursday evening, when there’s a 50 percent chance of showers.

Forecasters said sunny skies should prevail for most of the week, with temperatures hovering in the 60s today and Tuesday and then dipping to 50 by New Year’s Day.


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