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Dreams of a white Christmas are all wet

Holiday weekend is expected to be cool, damp

POSTED: December 18, 2011 11:17 p.m.

Chances are slim we'll see a White Christmas this year. With temperatures ranging from the low 30s to the mid 60s, the likelihood of snow is looking bleak.

The National Weather Service forecast shows a sunny start to the week, with temperatures in the upper 50s, followed by rain Tuesday afternoon through Friday. The week tops off with sunny skies Christmas Eve and a high near 54.

Vaughn Smith, a National Weather Service meteorologist for the Peachtree City office said there might be snow flurries mixed in with the rain, but a snowfall like last year's likely won't happen.

"There's a very potent system coming from the gulf area and Texas and moving northeast," Smith said.

"The weekend will be mostly cloudy with rain due to the warm, moist atmosphere."

There may be slight snow flurries Saturday night as temperatures dip below 32 F. Unfortunately, Christmas morning looks more soggy than snowy.

Last year, a storm system brought a wintry mix sweeping across the south Christmas Eve, turning the rainy week into a winter dream. The snowfall was a record-breaking 4 inches, a sight Gainesville hadn't seen since 1947.

Sadly, the holiday weekend looks like it will end cold and damp, with temperatures between 33 F and 34 F on Christmas Day.

Bad news for us means good news for Lake Lanier, which will certainly benefit from a week's worth of rain. As of Sunday evening, the lake stood at 1,058.56 feet above sea level, putting it 11.5 feet below full.

The lake has been dropping all year and is nearly 8 feet from its historic low of 1050.79 feet, set on Dec. 26, 2007.

Hall County has been in a drought for most of the year, with a rain deficit of about a foot.

Conditions have improved somewhat lately in a small portion of North Hall; the rest of Hall, however, ranges from abnormally dry to moderate drought according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.



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