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Dry conditions send Lanier to a lower level
Dry weather is in the outlook until Saturday
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The Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Rivers basin, which includes Lake Lanier, is experiencing drier than normal conditions for this time of year, causing lake levels throughout the basin to be below normal.

"Lake levels were looking very well in the upper basin during the late winter and early spring months," said E. Patrick Robbins, spokesman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Mobile District.

"Then about mid-April, the rain stopped and inflows began going below normal."

Lake Lanier stood at 1,069.64 feet above sea level Tuesday afternoon, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Full pool is 1,071 feet.

Because of record low inflows in the lower basin throughout the late winter and early spring, "lakes in the upper reach have been used to help meet the required flow in the Apalachicola River to protect endangered species," Robbins said.

"Right now, we are experiencing just enough flows throughout the basin to meet the required flows in the Apalachicola River and stabilize the levels of all the lakes in the system, even though they will be below normal for this time of year."

Lake Lanier's five-week forecast shows levels could drop to 1,068.40 feet through mid-June.

"These forecasts are obviously predicated on the weather patterns as they currently are forecast," Robbins said.

"If additional rain was to occur, we would make every effort to raise lake levels to full summer pool."

If dry weather continues, however, "levels could get lower than expected," he added.

"With the Memorial Day weekend coming up, we urge all recreational users to use extra caution," Robbins said.

"Life vests are extremely important and each corps project has loaner programs. Boaters should also be alert to lower than normal waters and any possible obstacles."

The National Weather Service is calling for a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms tonight. Otherwise, dry weather is in the outlook until Saturday, when there's a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms.

A chance for rain lingers through the following Tuesday.

Regional events