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Heat wave continues, though not as severe
Lanier has dropped 3 feet since April
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Grin and sweat it — that's about all we can do.

The heat wave that has swept the Southern half of the U.S. will ease up a bit this week, although expect high temperatures to remain in the low 90s.

Also, the chance for thundershowers increases Wednesday, but a 30 percent likelihood isn't enough to break out the umbrellas and rain gauges.

"We basically have a large (weather) ridge over the United States — a large area of high pressure that's sitting over three-fourths of the country," said Alex Gibbs, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.

"There's an upper-level high pressure system as well that just continues to bake us."

The ridge could start breaking down later in the week, making conditions "just a little more favorable for afternoon showers," Gibbs said.

So far, June has been dry in the Hall County area.

The last time the area received any substantive rain was May 26-27.

Summertime weather forecasts are often hard to make, said Pam Knox, assistant state climatologist.

"Part of that is because (they are) dependent on what the tropics are doing and where the tropical storms go," she has said.

"We know it's going to be another fairly active year, but we don't know whether those storms are going to come over Georgia or ... go to Texas."

For the last couple of weeks, Hall County has been in an area deemed as "abnormally dry," according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Only extreme North Georgia is experiencing normal conditions. A large swath of South Georgia is in "extreme drought."

Gibbs said several cities, including Macon and Columbus, have set record high temperatures.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials are concerned, meanwhile, about the lack of rainfall in the Chattahoochee-Apalachicola-Flint River basin, which includes Lake Lanier.

Although Lanier is nowhere near the historic lows of the 2007-09 drought, levels are dropping. The North Georgia reservoir has dropped 3 feet since April 17.

Lake Lanier stood at 1,069.13 feet above sea level Sunday afternoon. The summer full pool is 1,071 feet.


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