If you enjoyed the light rain that lingered over the area this past weekend, then you’re going to like this week’s forecast.
Showers off and on throughout the holiday weekend made for a slower weekend for law enforcement officials in the area, but less than an inch of rain fell in Gainesville. Gainesville received only eight-tenths of an inch from Saturday morning through Monday evening, according to the National Weather Service’s automated gauge at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport.
The gray skies parted for Monday’s Memorial Day activities and it remained partly sunny much of the afternoon. But the threat of rain isn’t going away anytime soon. Rain remains in the forecast throughout the coming week.
Showers are likely today, with a 60 percent chance of rain in the forecast. Storms could move into the area tonight, with a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms continuing into Wednesday.
For those living in North Georgia, an area that’s been struggling in the throes of a severe drought for two years, it’s hard to remember what normal weather is like. Hint: This is it.
“This is back to a normal rain pattern,” said Mike Leary, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.
While recent rains resulted from a storm system bringing in moisture from the Atlantic Ocean, Leary said the next system will be bringing in moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.
For the most part, we can expect light rain, with only about a 1 in 5 chance of getting a thunderstorm, Leary said.
“What’s going to happen is anytime you get a break in the clouds and get some sunshine in there (that) destablizes the air (and that) could produce some pea-sized hail,” he said. Those pop-up variety storms will be very isolated, he said, and usually cover only about a square mile.
The steady showers mean good news for growing gardens and Lake Lanier. The lake was at 1,065.66 feet above sea level Monday evening, two feet higher than it was on April 25. The last time Lanier was that high was June 21, 2007.
The drought is almost gone, with part or all of 10 Northeast Georgia counties, including the northern end of Hall, considered “abnormally dry,” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which is updated every Thursday.