It hasn’t been this dry in 142 years

Metro Atlanta has been rain-free since Oct. 16, but for the first time in more than a month we will likely get rain.

The next chance of precipitation is 10 percent Monday, and that will increase to 60 percent Tuesday, according to Channel 2 Action News.

That will offer much-awaited relief to metro areas that haven’t been this dry this long for 142 years.

Atlanta matched a record 39-day dry weather streak set in 1884, and lasting drought conditions led the state to issue new watering restrictions in 52 counties.

The city was also poised to set a new record by the end of the day Friday, the 40th consecutive day without measurable rainfall. Atlanta’s rainfall deficit since March 1 is just under 16 inches, Channel 2 reported.

But drought conditions in Fulton County — still in the “extreme” or second-worst category of drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor — pale in comparison to areas north of Forsyth County and some south of DeKalb County.

Those areas, which include the southern tip of DeKalb, are in “exceptional” drought, the U.S. Drought Monitor’s most severe category.

Water levels at Lake Lanier, Atlanta’s source of drinking water, dropped from 1,061.20 feet Nov. 20 to 1,060.94 feet Thursday. The full pool level is 1,071 feet.

Rainfall last seven days: 0

Rainfall this month: 0

Rainfall deficit for the year: 12.21

Rainfall deficit since Sept. 1: 7.50

The state’s drought alerts:

Level 1: Requires public water systems to educate customers about conditions and encourages conservation.

Level 2: Limits outdoor watering to two days a week on an odd-even schedule. Even-numbered addresses may water Wednesdays and Saturdays (4 p.m. to 10 a.m.); odd-numbered addresses may water Thursdays and Sundays (4 p.m. to 10 a.m.). No water for outdoor fountains, car washes or power washing of homes.

Level 3: Prohibits all outdoor irrigation of landscapes. Food gardens may be watered between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. (Soaker hoses and drip irrigation may be used any time.) Hand watering allowed during designated hours. Golf course irrigation limited.

Source: Environmental Protection Division

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