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Today to be sunny; rain to return on Sunday
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Get in your weekend fun today because rain may make a return by Sunday.

Forecasters are calling for sunny skies and warm temperatures today with temperatures reaching the mid-80s, with a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms by evening.

Those storms may carry over into Sunday with clouds, temperatures in the mid- to upper-70s and a 60 percent chance of rain through Monday.

Nate Mays with the National Weather Service office in Peachtree City said moisture arriving from the Gulf of Mexico likely will bring rain to our area.

He said the usual summertime weather trends should continue unless there are any major atmospheric changes, particularly the Pacific Ocean patterns that lead to weather extremes.

“The El Niño and La Niña both have gone kind of neutral right now,” he said. “Until one takes back over, we’ll have a pattern of maintaining the occasional front. And the jet stream is not changed that much, so there’s not a lot of severe stuff. If the jet stream drops into a trough and brings in more moisture, everything could change.”

Mays said recent rains in the southern and eastern parts of Georgia have helped ease drought conditions there, especially for farmers.

Portions of Northeast Georgia remain in what is considered moderate to severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Area rainfall totals are about 3 inches below normal for this time of year.

State climatologist Bill Murphey said in an email that rainfall in the area was close to normal in May, though totals remain below average for the year. He said above-normal temperatures are forecast over the next three months, with the potential for tropical storms to bring more rain, “especially late summer and early fall near the peak of the season, if we get a land-falling cyclone that makes the right track.”

Rains early in the week only helped the water levels on Lake Lanier slightly. The lake stood at 1,064.80 feet above sea level Friday, about 7 feet below full pool.

Regional events