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Rain finally soaks metro Atlanta after massive drought, but dry spell lingers

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Conditions in recent months constitute an “extreme drought” in North Georgia

A dry-looking plain at Piedmont Park, with the city skyline in the background.
A parched Piedmont Park, as seen in late September.
Josh Green, Curbed Atlanta

A Sunday drizzle and steady rain mercifully interrupted what experts have described as an “extreme drought” in metro Atlanta.

But that minor rainfall hasn’t quelled worries from some Georgia farmers and governments.

Sunday brought scattered showers to the city (about a quarter of an inch, in most parts of the metro), and more rain is expected Tuesday and possibly this coming weekend.

But the extended dry spell has prompted state officials to declare “extreme drought” conditions in Coweta, Fayette, Clayton, South Fulton, western Henry, Bartow, Cherokee, Forsyth, Hall, Pickens, Gilmer, Dawson, Lumpkin, and White Counties, according to 11 Alive.

That’s almost 5 percent of the state, and the shortage has spurred worries of potential wildfires and crop losses.

Coweta County called for watering restrictions last week, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and the City of Griffin has urged residents and businesses to conserve water wherever they can.

As of Saturday, there had been less than 33 inches of rainfall this year, the paper reported. Forty inches would be typical.

The drought is due in part to a high-pressure system hovering over the South, compounded by the record-high temperatures the region has been enduring. That included the third-hottest recorded September in Atlanta history, during which 14 days reached 90 degrees or above.

Across the state, reservoir levels have dipped, but statewide watering restrictions have not yet been enacted.