A streak of dry weather — not counting Thursday’s snowfall — has allowed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to get Lake Lanier very close to its winter full pool of 1,070 feet above sea level.
The lake stood at 1,070.57 feet Thursday afternoon, or nearly half a foot lower since Dec. 30, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The corps’ four-week forecast shows the lake reaching 1,070 by the end of January.
Lake levels have had a strange journey the past few months.
First, there was the push to reach the summer full pool of 1,071 feet, something that hadn’t happened since September 2005, as the lake was mired in a two-year drought.
Only nature could provide that bump — and it did on Oct. 12, in the form of what would turn out to be one of the rainiest years on record.
Then, the corps began releases to get the water to 1,070, but steady rainfall was the obstacle to hitting that mark. The lake peaked at 1,073.05 feet on Nov. 13 before beginning a steady decline.
The corps had hoped to reach 1,070 by Dec. 18, but the lake didn’t even dip below 1,071 until Dec. 31.
No rain has been recorded this month at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville, according to AccuWeather.com.