Despite the 2 inches of rain that fell during the past week in Gainesville, the level of Lake Lanier didn’t budge much, and the prospects for rain don’t look so good this week.
According to Mike Griesinger, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, this week looks to be a departure from the rainy weather of last week.
He said the hot, dry weather typical of summer is expected to return, with no decent chance of rain until Thursday or later. Griesinger said to expect temperatures to hit the mid- to upper-90s by midweek.
The rainfall for the month of July was slightly above average at 5.31 inches recorded at Gainesville’s Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport.
On July 31, the lake level stood at 1,055.20 above mean sea level, but had dropped to 1,055.15 as of Friday. Lanier is about 16 feet below the full pool mark of 1,071.
There just isn’t any water flowing into Lake Lanier.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the discharge of the Chattahoochee River near Cornelia on Saturday night was a scant 152 cubic feet per second, though it went above 300 cubic feet per second on Wednesday.
The lowest discharge recorded by the stream gauge at Cornelia was 147 cubic feet per second in 1986, according to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Web site.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recorded an inflow into Lake Lanier of just 272 cubic feet per second on Friday, and the discharge on the same day averaged 1,054 cubic feet per second.
That discharge is being used to generate electricity for power-hungry consumers during the hot summer months. Buford Dam generated 245 megawatt hours of electricity on Friday.
Northeast Georgia is classified as "exceptional," the most severe drought category.
It is the only region in Georgia where the drought is classified as exceptional, though portions of Northeast Georgia also are classified as being in "extreme" drought.
There was no change in that status last week as measured by the U.S. Drought Monitor.