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Fay’s promised rain didn’t show up

POSTED: August 26, 2008 5:01 a.m.
What many local residents had hoped would be a week full of rain has turned out to be exactly the opposite.

Based on the original trajectory of Tropical Storm Fay, meteorologists were predicting that North Georgia could be in for a large soaking at the beginning of the week.

But the storm never got this far north.

"Tropical Storm Fay was a tough one to predict, and the reason that Gainesville didn’t get any rain is that Fay stayed well to the south of Gainesville," said Kent McMullen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.

Though some rain recently has started to reach the Athens area, the majority ran across Central and South Georgia and into Florida, McMullen said.

Since Thursday, however, Gainesville has felt one effect of Fay — wind.

The tropical storm and ridge of high pressure building over the South Appalachian mountains combined to create "a nice little wind field," McMullen said.

The wind should die out by tonight, just in time for the rain.

McMullen said there is a good chance of rain today and a better chance Sunday.

In fact, there is a moderate chance of rain every day next week through Friday, McMullen said.

There’s a 20 percent chance of rain today and a 50 percent chance Sunday. The percentages range between those two for the remainder of the week.

The outlook for Lake Lanier has been grim.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has predicted that Lanier will hit 1,053.2 feet above sea level by Labor Day weekend, and by Sept. 5, the level is expected to reach 1,052.8 feet — only 2 feet above its historic low of 1,050.79 feet, recorded last Dec. 26.

The lake never has reached this level during the summer recreation season, and the impact now is far greater than it would be in December.

However, McMullen said the tropical storm season in Georgia isn’t over and should last through October.

"There’s still some hope for a tropical storm through September or October," he said.



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