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Rain moves out; warmer weather moving this way

POSTED: May 30, 2009 12:16 a.m.
TOM REED/The Times

Steven Schneider gets cooled off as a bucket of water falls across his head Friday at the Frances Meadows Aquatic Center. The center will be crowded with people cooling off this weekend as warm, dry weather moves into North Georgia.

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Get it while the getting’s good.

For the first time since April, the weekend will be drenched in sun instead of rain.

The National Weather Service predicts that temperatures will rise to the mid-80s today and Sunday and that the sun will shine.

The sunny, dry weekend ahead is the first in Hall County since late April, according to Jessica Fieux, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Every weekend since April 26, Hall County residents have sought shelter from wet conditions. But the weather service predicts no chance of rain for the area until Tuesday, when there is a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms.

"You’ll at least have a couple of days," Fieux said.

The sun will likely be good for business at the Frances Meadows Aquatic and Community Center in Gainesville. The center opened up its outdoor "Splash Zone" for the weekend of May 2. It rained.

"The weather did not cooperate much, but people came out," said Jone Taylor, division manager for the center.

Then, in what should have been the first big week of business for the center — the Memorial Day holiday, followed by the first week of summer vacation for area schools — it rained some more.

"Since school is out, even though the weather hasn’t cooperated, we’ve had good attendance," said Taylor. "... It really wasn’t that bad. When the sun peeked out, everybody was clapping and happy about it."

The sun comes following an unusually rainy month. By Friday, 5.28 inches of rain had fallen at Gainesville’s Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport since May 1. With two days left in the month, the recorded rainfall is nearly an inch more than the 30-year average for rainfall in May.

But this weekend, with the sun replacing the clouds in the skies and highs near 85, Taylor said she expects a few thousand people to show up at Frances Meadows to get their splash on.

"The weather kind of dictates our Splash Zone attendance; we’re expecting a lot right now," Taylor said.



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