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Wet weather helps slow evaporation from Lake Lanier

Gainesville has received almost an inch of precipitation

POSTED: October 29, 2007 5:03 a.m.
It’s no gully-washer, but any rain is better than none at all.

According to the National Weather Service, Gainesville received .83 inches of rain between 8 a.m. Tuesday and 8 a.m. Wednesday, based on the gauge at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport.

And radar-derived estimates say some parts of Hall County received at least an inch over the past three days. Gainesville got a heavy downpour around 7 p.m. Tuesday.

But Nate Mayes, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, said most of the rain over the next three days will come in the form of drizzle, with no strong thunderstorms expected.

"I don’t expect much in total rainfall amounts," he said. "But at least the clouds will keep water from evaporating."

Why is Georgia getting an entire week of rain during October, typically one of the driest months?

"We’ve got a low-pressure system sitting along the Mississippi River valley around Louisiana," Mayes said. "It’s spinning and drawing up moisture out of the Gulf (of Mexico). So rather than this being a one-time event like a cold front, it’s continuous."

Mayes said only the northern edge of Georgia will benefit. "As the moisture moves east, it lifts up over the mountains and condenses into rain," he said.

Sautee received 1.1 inches during the 24-hour period ending at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Mayes said that will help Lake Lanier because north White County contains the headwaters of the Chattahoochee River.

The lake level hasn’t gone up, but it hasn’t dropped as much as usual either.

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Web site, Lanier’s level Tuesday was 1,056.16 feet above sea level.

On Wednesday morning it was 1,056.15, according to the corps’ lake level phone hotline.

"We would need several days of steady rain to really help the lake," said Mayes. "It’s still going to go down a bit, because of the amount the corps is releasing at the dam."



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