The drought appears to be loosening its grip on the Hall County area.
The U.S. Drought Monitor’s latest report, issued Thursday morning, shows most of Hall as “abnormally dry,” downgraded from moderate drought. Only a small swath of South Hall remains in moderate drought.
The national report, issued weekly by the National Drought Mitigation Center in Lincoln, Neb., is based on data collected through 7 a.m. each Tuesday.
Most of Georgia has been locked in drought since last year and portions of the state — particularly Middle Georgia — are still enduring “exceptional drought,” or the most severe conditions.
Steady rainfall last Sunday through Thursday helped bring relief to Hall and neighboring counties. Weather officials say Hall is experiencing a surplus of rain for 2013.
More rainfall is predicted today, although it could come in the form of frozen precipitation, according to the forecast by the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.
Lake Lanier, meanwhile, also has gotten a big bounce from the rainfall.
The lake now stands at 1,062.1 feet above sea level, with the winter full pool at 1,070 feet. Before the rainfall, it had been plunging downward, reaching 1,057.03 feet on Dec. 25.
The last time the lake was about as high as it is now was Oct. 28, when the lake stood at 1,062.13 feet. Lanier’s historic low is 1,050.79 feet, hit on Dec. 26, 2007.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which governs Lanier, has tried to issue the remaining dock permits on Lake Lanier but has been unable to because of fluctuations in the elevation.
That process will resume once the lake returns to — and stays consistently at — 1,064 feet above sea level or higher.