It was a wet Christmas, not a white one, that greeted Northeast Georgians on Friday after a stormy Christmas Eve night.
But after a rainy night and cloudy morning, the sun came peeked out a bit in the afternoon just in time for youngsters to try out those new bikes and roller skates from Santa.
Between midnight at 7 a.m. Friday, 1.53 inches of rain was recorded at the National Weather Service recording station at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport. That brought the 24-hour total to just under 2 inches Thursday and Friday.
The rains kept Lake Lanier above full pool at 1,071.83 feet above sea level. Just a year ago, the lake was again approaching its all-time low and sat at 1,052 feet.
2009 already stands as one the second wettest year on record in Gainesville, behind only the 89 inches recorded in 1929. The total this week brought the yearly rainfall right at 80 inches with a week to go.
But the chance of significant rain between now and New Year’s Day appears slim. The next few days should be clear and sunny with temperatures around 50 degrees during the day, dropping into the low 30s at night.
That pattern of cool, clear days and chilly nights is likely to continue until Thursday, when there is a 30 percent chance of rain.
Despite the wet roads, it was a calm day for traffic problems in the area. Local police and fire agencies reported no incidents and the Georgia State Patrol said no major accidents have occurred in our area so far over the holiday period.
Statewide, there have been 580 crashes, 150 injuries and four deaths reported in the 102-hour holiday period which began at 6 p.m. Thursday and ends at midnight Sunday.
The GSP estimated 2,226 crashes, 976 injuries and 18 deaths during the holiday period. Last year, there were 2,783 crashes, 1,261 injuries and 24 deaths during the Christmas period.