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Summer makes an early entrance this week
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The summer heat that Georgians know well is arriving this week.

Temperatures are expected to be a few degrees above normal June weather.

“The average high for this time of year would be the mid-80s,” said National Weather Service forecaster Sean Ryan.

Ryan said the warmest days will likely by Tuesday and Wednesday, when the temperature is expected to hit 89 degrees.

All the sunshine could be interrupted later in the week.

Ryan said there is a chance of showers and thunderstorms starting Wednesday, with up to a 40 percent chance of showers Friday.

So far this spring, temperatures have been mild.

“We’ve been at or below average, we haven’t had any heat waves or anything,” Ryan said. “We’ve been near or just below normal in the past few months.”

Frequent rains since January, including 1.72 inches Friday, have helped boost the level of Lake Lanier up to 1,066.65 feet above sea level as of Sunday, a few feet shy of full pool at 1,071.

But the rising temperatures won’t help the lake rise.

A continuing pattern of wetter-than-normal weather over the summer will help but won’t guarantee decent levels, largely because hotter weather means more evaporation, state climatologist David Stooksbury has said.

Plants also use a lot of water as they grow at this time of year, he said.

As the summer heats up, “the moisture loss due to evaporation and plant use is typically greater than the rainfall,” Stooksbury said just before Memorial Day last month. “If we have a normal summer, the soils will start to dry out, but ... this is not a precursor to a drought. This is normal.”