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Little Response at Lake Lanier Despite July Rains
situation update July 16, 2008


[ Observed precipitation amounts July 1 thru 15, 2008 across North and Central Georgia ]
Observed precipitation amounts July 1 thru 15, 2008 across North and Central Georgia.
Several inches fell above Lake Lanier.
(click image to enlarge)

Despite significant rainfall during the first 2 weeks of July, water levels at Lake Lanier hardly budged. The Chattahoochee Valley above the lake saw 5 inches or more during that time span. Cornelia received 4.4 inches. Helen got 5 inches. One rainfall event produced a record daily amount in Atlanta (2.1 inches on July 13th). But runoff was less than one might expect. Rises on the Chattahoochee were modest at best, as can be seen in the graphs of water levels on the Chattahoochee River at two sites upstream from Lanier.

 

 

 

Data provided by USGS. ( click images to enlarge )
[ graph of Chattahoochee River levels at Cornelia July 1 thru 15, 2008. ]
graph of Chattahoochee River levels at Cornelia July 1 thru 15, 2008.
[ graph of Chattahoochee River levels at Cornelia July 1 thru 15, 2008. ]
graph of Chattahoochee River levels at Cornelia July 1 thru 15, 2008.


The next graph shows the recovery of water levels in 2008 until the month of May.
July rains only slowed the rate of fall that began in early June.
[ Graph of 2008 Lake Lanier levels - blue line ]
Graph of 2008 Lake Lanier levels - blue line.
Note steady fall since June 1.
(click image to enlarge)

It is apparent that the water level at Lake Lanier will not recover during the hot summer months unless above normal rainfall persists for many weeks - or unless rain falls at a faster rate than 5 inches in a 2-week period.



Relevant web pages:
Low Water Levels at Lake Lanier and Chattahoochee River in 2007 ( click images to enlarge )
Photos courtesy Bill Kinsland.
[ Lake Lanier in September 2007 as seen from Highway 60 in Hall County. ]
Lake Lanier in September 2007 as seen from Highway 60 in Hall County.
[ Lake Lanier in September 2007 as seen from Highway 60 in Hall County. ]
Lake Lanier in September 2007 as seen from Highway 60 in Hall County.
[ The Chattahoochee River near Helen in September 2007. ]
The Chattahoochee River near Helen in September 2007.
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