There’s still a chance thunderstorms could drench your Labor Day cookout, but a heavy dose of rain still remains a long shot for most areas in North Georgia.
There were hopes last week that Hurricane Isaac, since downgraded to a tropical storm, might bring relief to drought-stricken parts of Georgia as it traveled up the Gulf of Mexico.
But the storm hit farther west in Louisiana and now is dumping its tropical rains on the Midwest in the Mississippi and Ohio river valleys, in addition to spawning tornadoes and leading to flooding in some areas.
Though most Georgians may be relieved not to face such a soggy holiday, any rain would have been welcome to many across the state, especially farmers.
“We thought that it would park over Georgia, and we would get a few days of rain, which could have wiped out the drought,” Pam Knox, an agricultural climatologist with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, said in a news release. “Instead, it moved farther to the west than we thought. They’re getting way more than they need, and we really haven’t gotten very much.”
About a half of Georgia remains in some level of drought. While the drought is considered moderate to severe throughout most of North Georgia, it ranks as extreme through the middle portions of the state.
“Every bit of rain we get is good, but it wasn’t enough to really change the drought situation,” Knox said. “In the summer, we really need about an inch a week to keep up with evaporation; and, even with the storm, some areas haven’t gotten that.”
Today’s forecast in the area calls for a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms with a high near 88. The chance of storms is somewhat higher Monday under mostly cloudy skies with highs still in the upper 80s.
Lake Lanier remains in need of replenishing as summer unofficially comes to a close this holiday. The water level was at 1,062.14 feet above sea level Saturday afternoon, still some 9 feet below full pool.