The Hall County area got some much-needed rain on Mother’s Day, and more may be on the way this week.
As of Sunday evening, more than an inch of rain had fallen at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville, according to the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.
Showers and possibly a thunderstorm are likely today, with additional rain of up to a quarter of an inch, “except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms,” according to the agency’s forecast.
On Sunday, much of North Georgia, including Hall, was placed under a “hazardous weather outlook” by the weather service.
“Widespread showers and scattered thunderstorms will accompany a low-pressure system as it lifts northeast from the central Gulf Coast region,” according to a weather statement issued by agency.
Showers and thunderstorms are expected to linger into Wednesday night, although the likelihood drops as the week progresses.
Wednesday is expected to be partly sunny, with the forecast calling for sunny skies through Sunday.
Daytime high temperatures also are expected to rise through the week, going from 75 today to the low 80s Wednesday through the rest of the week.
Sunday’s rain had a quick impact on Lake Lanier, which stood at 1,064.82 feet above sea level by midafternoon.
About 14 hours earlier, the lake had dropped to 1,064.70 feet. Full pool is 1,071 feet.
Hall County has been in a drought for months, with the situation worsening in the past couple of weeks.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor’s latest report on Tuesday, a small portion of East Hall is in severe drought, while the rest of the county is either in moderate drought or abnormally dry.
Except for a small swath across extreme North Georgia, the rest of the state is suffering from a lack of steady rainfall. Parts of Middle and South Georgia have “exceptional drought,” the most severe level.
State Climatologist Bill Murphey has said the forecast calls for a gradual move toward “a slight, or weak, El Niño by the end of the summer ... (having) a bigger impact on tropical activity.”
He added: “It’s probably going to take something like a tropical system to get us out of these (dry) conditions.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has reverted to drought operations in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River basin, which includes Lake Lanier.
The minimum flow into the Apalachicola River “to protect threatened and endangered species” is 5,000 cubic feet per second, said E. Patrick Robbins, spokesman at the corps’ Mobile District.
“We will maintain this minimum flow and store all available rainfall when possible until the basin recovers sufficiently to come out of drought operations.”
The Apalachicola flows through the Florida Panhandle into the Gulf of Mexico.
“The impact to Lanier is we can store any rainfall that now occurs,” Robbins said. “We don’t have to release additional water.”