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More rain heading this way

POSTED: April 18, 2012 11:08 p.m.

A pedestrian with an umbrella makes way to the downtown Gainesville parking deck as rain showers moved through the area Wednesday afternoon

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Gainesville received more than 2 inches of rain overnight Wednesday, and more appears to be on the way this weekend.

Rainfall through 7 a.m. totaled 1.94 inches, and continued to fall on Wednesday.

The forecast calls for a respite today, with partly sunny skies and a high near 74, turning to partly cloudy skies tonight with a low around 57, before the chances of precipitation begin to build again on Friday and through the weekend.

As of 9:15 p.m. Wednesday, Lake Lanier had risen to 1,065.63 feet, up from 1,065.52 feet at 9:15 p.m. Tuesday, but with the rainfall the lake is likely to continue rising for several days.

Friday’s forecast calls for a 20 percent chance of rain, growing to a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Friday night.

Showers and thunderstorms are likely, with a 60 percent chance of precipitation, Saturday and Saturday night.

“We expect a lot of precipitation in the winter and the springtime,” National Weather Service forecaster Alex Gibbs said. “We have a system diving south of the Plains and forming over the Gulf of Mexico, and we expect moisture to return. We have a good chance of thunderstorms this weekend.”

Severe weather is not very likely this weekend but remains possible,  Gibbs said.

“As of now, you could say yes or no,” on predicting severe weather, Gibbs said. “Our forecast does not have an outlook with confidence in the models, but there’s decent instability,”

Referring to tornadoes in the Midwest last Saturday, Gibbs said, “In an event like we had last weekend in the Great Plains, that was in the models for seven straight days. We don’t have that in our models.”

The chances of precipitation begin to diminish Sunday, with a 50 percent chance of showers during the day declining to a 40 percent chance of showers that night.

After the weekend, mild weather should return.

“Long range, we really don’t show anything forming, and that pattern persists to next Saturday,” he said.


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