Hall, Gainesville schools closed Tuesday due to weather
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Rain to bring some relief to dry conditions
Despite the rain, Jim Begley of The Crystal Plate walks Mo, a 2-year-old bulldog, Monday around the square in Gainesville. The Hall County area could get 2 inches or so of rain from the passing showers, according to the National Weather Service in Peachtree City. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

The rainfall moving through North Georgia should put a healthy dent in this year’s rain deficit, but it likely won’t be a drought buster.

The 2 inches or so that could come from this week’s brief rainfall — nearly a half-inch had fallen by late Monday — still falls way short of the 9-plus inches the Hall County area needs to make up its normal rainfall for the year to date.

Dry conditions have put most of Georgia in varying degrees of drought, with a swath of South Georgia considered to be severe, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor’s Nov. 9 report.

Only the Northeast Georgia tip, including most of Hall County, is faring OK. South Hall is part of a Middle and North Georgia area deemed “abnormally dry,” according to the report.

This week’s showers began early Monday, with the forecast calling for heavy downpours Monday night.

The National Weather Service in Peachtree City even placed the Hall County area under a “hazardous weather outlook,” with an expected 1 to 2 inches of rain.

A stationary front was hovering along a line between Atlanta and Athens. Also, compounding the wetness was a low pressure system moving northeast through Georgia from the Gulf of Mexico.

Rainfall also was projected to continue today, possibly disrupting this morning’s ride to work or school but drifting off by the time of the evening commute.

The weather system, adding another possible inch on Tuesday, also could trigger some thunderstorms, according to the Weather Service.

Sunshine should return on Wednesday, bringing with it temperatures in the 60s. Blue skies are in the outlook through Sunday, with mild temperatures also expected to linger for the next few days.

This week’s rainfall could end up more the exception than the rule over the next several months.

A La Niña atmosphere pattern in play for the eastern U.S. could mean drier, warmer than usual months ahead — perhaps into the spring.

It “has developed very quickly and looks real strong,” said Pam Knox, assistant state climatologist. “I don’t think it’s going away any time soon.”

The drier weather from the summer and into fall has dropped levels at Lake Lanier.

The last time the lake was at its summer full pool of 1,071 feet above sea level was June 22.

And the lake had dropped on Sunday to 1,067.95 feet — its lowest level in more than a year. By Monday evening, the lake was back up to 1,068.05 feet.