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Strong storms expected this weekend
Drought continues in North Georgia
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Rain is back with a vengeance.

Thunderstorms are in the forecast for today, along with a chance for rain through Monday night, according to the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.

"Some strong storms may develop, with lightning and strong winds as the main threats," the weather agency stated in a hazardous weather advisory issued Friday.

"Another round of showers and thunderstorms will push through the area Sunday night into early Monday."

Temperatures, meanwhile, will be warm over the next few days, hitting the upper 60s today and mid-60s on Monday.

Over the period, the area could receive up to 2 inches of rainfall.

Rain and fierce storms have been no stranger to the Hall County area in the past couple of months. While the region spent most of 2011 in a rain deficit, it has received the nearly 3 inches expected through this point in 2012.

"We just have a warmer air mass in our area that's of Gulf (of Mexico) origin," said meteorologist Alex Gibbs at the National Weather Service. "If you look just to our north, they are really cold with an Arctic air mass.

"In the winter, we have the most dynamic systems, where we have the largest temperature (swings)."

The latest report from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that most of Georgia is suffering drought-like conditions, with a portion of Southwest Georgia described as having "exceptional" drought.

Hall County continues to fall between normal and moderate drought levels.

The Drought Monitor issues a report each Thursday based on data collected by 7 a.m. Tuesday of that week.

As for Lake Lanier, conditions continue to improve.

On Friday, the lake stood at 1,060.78 feet above sea level, up half a foot from the previous Friday but still less than 10 feet below the normal winter full pool of 1,070 feet.

At one point during last year's dry spell, the lake was dropping a foot about every 10 days, exposing shoreline, tree limbs and other objects that had been long submerged and closing in on the historic low of 1,050.79 feet, set on Dec. 26, 2007.

It had dropped to 1,057.91 feet on Nov. 14.

Sunny skies are predicted to return Tuesday, with a high near 61, and then it's back to cloudy skies and chances for rain through Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.


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