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Rain helps lake levels spring up

But, officials say, drier weather is on the way

POSTED: April 12, 2009 11:13 p.m.

Lake Lanier is reaping the benefits of recent wet weather — including possibly more soaking storms today — but drier weather is ahead that could slow the lake’s refilling.

As of Sunday afternoon, the lake was at 1,062.25 feet above sea level, with the full pool at 1,071 feet. Two months ago, the lake was at 1,056.65 feet.

A rainy year has helped bring water to lake beds and coves that were dry at this time last year.

The Hall County area has received 2.87 inches this month, with the normal month to date at 1.79 inches, and the rainfall amount for the year is 19.25 inches, or a quarter-inch more than normal, according to AccuWeather.

And more rainfall is in the forecast through today and possibly into Tuesday.

Thunderstorms could produce up to an inch of rain today, possibly more in some areas, throughout North Georgia.

"That will help Lake Lanier," said Patricia Atwell, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.

"I can’t say how close that will get (the lake) to full pool. It all just depends on how much rain falls, not only over Lake Lanier but also the basin that filters into (it)."

The weather then is expected to stay mostly dry, possibly through Sunday, giving gardeners a chance to do some much-needed yard work.

Temperatures are expected to climb into the low 70s and skies should remain sunny through Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

By the weekend, the weather will turn slightly, favoring mostly cloudy skies and a slight chance of showers and thundershowers.

Overall, though, "it looks like we’ll be (entering) a relatively dry pattern," Atwell said. "We get the system (today) and once that lifts out, our next chance for rain doesn’t really come until possibly next week."

The slight chance for rain arriving Saturday night "doesn’t look like it will be a strong system," she added.

"So, if we go back into a relatively dry pattern, then we would see those effects on Lake Lanier, as well."



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