Metro Atlanta Remains In ‘Unusual’ Drought
Metro Atlanta Remains In ‘Unusual’ Drought.
But not in metro Atlanta, most of which remains in a "Level 2" drought response.
Gainesville has gotten more than 20 inches less rain in the past year than a normal year.
The warm winter means more water has evaporated from the lake and from the soil and plants, said Bill Murphey, state climatologist and head meteorologist for Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division.
It’s not unusual to see lake levels get drawn down during the year, Harvey said, but around this time of year should be a wet season, when the lake refills.
That’s troubling, said Katherine Zitsch, natural resources manager at the Atlanta Regional Commission, because even during droughts the lake usually refills at least a bit.
“Sometimes it’s 10 feet in one winter, sometimes it’s 5 feet in one winter.
“This drought there is no upward trend.” Zitsch said this drought has taken the worst aspects of two previous droughts and combined them.
“The ’07 drought it was very dry in September-October-November, and this drought repeated that.
But what’s upstream of the reservoir is a very small watershed.” So Lake Lanier is like a huge tub that’s filled by a relatively small faucet, which, over the past year, has been turned down to just a trickle.