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Flood watch issued as heavy rain moves in

4 inches of rain possible through Saturday

POSTED: March 25, 2009 9:58 a.m.
Tom Reed/The Times

Umbrellas will be a popular fashion accessory for the next few days, as 2 to 4 inches of rain is expected into the weekend.

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Keep your umbrella handy. You're going to need it for the next four days.

Heavy rain is moving into the region today, and by the time it stops raining Saturday night, forecasters are saying up to 4 inches of rain could fall. The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for much of north and central Georgia -- including Gainesville -- until Saturday night.

Rain began falling overnight, and heavy rain is expected today and tonight.

"You can expect it to be pretty rainy for the next couple of days," said Laura Griffith, a meteorologist with the weather service's office in Peachtree City.

Up to 2 inches of rain is possible by Thursday morning, Griffith said. Some localized areas may see even more rain during that period.

Griffith said the atmosphere will become even more unstable on Thursday, increasing the chances of thunderstorms through Saturday night.

"Right now, there is only a slight risk of severe thunderstorms," she said. "But there is the possibility that some isolated storms will be severe."

By Sunday, the rain will be gone and the sun will return. Sunny skies are forecast for Sunday and the early part of next week.

High temperatures will be in the mid to upper 60s, which Griffith said is about normal for this time of the year.

A heavy rainfall will be continued good news for Lake Lanier, which has been steadily rising for several weeks. Late Tuesday, the lake was at 1,059.15 feet, about 12 feet below full pool.

The Hydrometeorological Prediction Center's 14-day forecast for the Gainesville area call for average precipitation and above normal temperatures.




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