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Skies to remain sunny all week
El Nio likely means drier, cooler winter
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If you’re feeling a bit water-logged after last month’s rains, you should get a chance to dry out this week.

Forecasters predict sunny skies with highs in the 60s for the remainder of the week and into the weekend, according to Jessica Fieux, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.

Rain doesn’t even peek into the forecast until Monday, when only a 20 percent chance of showers is forecast, Fieux said.

Temperatures will dip down to around 39 Friday night and into Saturday morning, she said.

That drier trend is expected to continue throughout the fall and into the winter thanks to El Niño.

“We expect El Niño to strengthen and persist through the winter months, providing clues as to what the weather will be like during the period,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service.

What does that mean for North Georgia? There is some chance that North Georgia will be a little bit drier, but an even stronger chance that it will be a little bit cooler than normal, Fieux said.

That may be a relief to areas soaked by record-setting rains last month.

A little more than 11 inches of rain fall at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville last month, or 7 inches more than the normal, according to Year to date, the area has received 59.51 inches. The normal year-to-date total is 45.85 inches.

Athens and Macon recorded the wettest 61-day period for September and October on record, according to the National Weather Service.

Fieux said the rainy month was due to tropical cyclones in the Pacific which moved into our area loaded with plenty of moisture. A low stalled over Texas and Louisiana helped feed the Gulf moisture in the area, too, she said.

Lake Lanier got the needed boost from rainfall last month to push it over the full pool level of 1,071 feet above sea level.

The elevation Monday night was 1,071.63 feet, with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials saying they plan on keeping the level around 1,070 feet during the winter.

Times reporter Jeff Gill contributed to this story.

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