As reported in the Athens Banner-Herald, Athens is expected to get more rain this week than what the Classic City has had in the last three months combined.
As the Southeast’s ultra-dry weather shifts to a seasonal pattern, it is bringing much-needed relief to farmers and is dampening the wildfires that burned hundreds of thousands of acres in north Georgia and neighboring Southeastern states.
The National Weather Service’s Peachtree City weather station forecasts say the chance of severe weather is slight as the storm systems move through this week.
The rain will make for dangerous driving conditions, said University of Georgia climatologist Pam Knox.
The last time Athens got more than an inch of rain in a day was Aug. 17, and through Sunday, the rain gauge at Athens-Ben Epps Airport recorded just over a third of an inch of rain for the months of October and November.
This means a lot of time for oily residues to collect on roads and highways, so when rain does fall, those residues will make the roads dangerously slick until enough rain falls to wash it away, Knox explained.
Forecasters said a system moving through the Southeast could bring small amounts of rain Monday, then two inches or more Tuesday into Thursday morning with more possible this weekend.
Other forecasts predict as much as five to six inches of rain for Athens, but Knox expects to see about two or four inches over the next couple days. There’s some possibility of flooding because of the drought as well as the rain.
“It’s a good shift. The next two weeks look good,” she said. “The best benefit is that it will help fill up lakes and reservoirs a little bit,” she said.
The rain will also be a big help for the firefighters who’ve been trying to control Southeastern wildfires for the past few weeks.
This week’s rain by itself may put only a temporary hold on the drought that’s spread across the Southeast the past several months, creating ideal conditions for those mountain wildfires.
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