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Flash flood watch in effect in area until 8 a.m. Thursday
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So much for a few dry days. Heavy rains returned to Northeast Georgia today, with 1.89 inches recorded at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville.

The National Weather Service forecasts showers and thunderstorms on and off throughout the day and into the evening, and a flash flood watch is in effect for the region until 8 a.m. Thursday morning.

Rainfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour are possible, according to a hazardous weather report. Gusty winds and frequent lightning are also possible, with severe storms possibly producing wind gusts of 60 mph or more.

Two traffic signals were out earlier this morning in Hall County due to a power outage, but were back on within an hour, according to Teri Pope, spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Transportation. DOT crews are cleaning out drains today to facilitate water runoff.

The chance of storms is lower tonight and drops to 50 percent on Thursday, with a diminished chance of pop-up storms heading into the weekend.

The first few days of August have been relatively dry after a cool, wet July that brought rain 22 of 31 days and recorded rainfall totals more than 10 inches above the norm.

Regional events