Cobb isn’t expected to get nearly as much rainfall as predicted earlier this week, but more heavy rain is coming, and that should continue to put a dent in the area’s drought problems.
Meteorologist Tom Moore with The Weather Channel said he originally expected the metro Atlanta area to get as much as 8 or 9 inches of rain through Saturday, which would have likely caused major flooding. But that forecast has shifted in the last couple of days, and the larger quantities of rain should hit the areas south of Interstate 16 in central Georgia. “We could get a bout of heavy rain but nothing compared to what we were looking at the other day,” he said. “We thought the bull’s eye was going to be Atlanta.” But that doesn’t mean the area won’t get another good drenching. Moore said there could still be some minor flooding of small creeks or streams, but that’s about it. It should start raining sometime Friday afternoon and continue through Saturday afternoon.
Verona Murrell, a meteorologist with The National Weather Service, said Cobb residents could see between 2 and 3 inches of rain over the next 24 hours, and the flood watch will remain in effect through Saturday.
She also said temperatures will remain about the same, in the upper 40s to lower 50s, and they could creep into the low 60s after the rainfall stops Saturday evening.
Moore said the amount of rain the metro Atlanta area is getting is more than usual, but the on-and-off rain every few days is normal for the winter months.
The average value for this time of year is around 7.5 inches, but according to readings at the Allatoona Dam in north Cobb, they’ve recorded 11 inches of rainfall since Jan. 1 already.
“We’re also coming into a rainy month on average,” Moore said.
March is usually one of the wettest months of the year, and the average yearly rainfall for the Atlanta area is about 50 inches.
He also said the areas north of Atlanta are moving out from under the drought radar. “The rain coming in this weekend will leave us nowhere near as dire as we were last month, and it’s looking to get even better in the future,” he said.
The lake levels at Lake Allatoona and Lake Lanier also continue to rise, and, at Lanier alone, the levels have risen 6 or 7 feet since Christmas, he said.
“This rain has definitely helped the drought situation in Georgia, and we’re optimistic in coming months,” he said.