WEATHER-TRAFFIC UPDATE: Sunny, rain-free day winds down as Perimeter delays linger

Monday: High: 61

Monday night: Low: 41

Tuesday: High: 66

» For a detailed forecast, visit The Atlanta Journal-Constitution weather page.

Monday’s sunny and dry weather wasn’t a dream, but it is coming to an end as clouds emerge and the sun sets.

However, it’s still 60 degrees in Atlanta and traffic isn’t too bad as the evening commute winds down.

The Perimeter remains the major slow spot after wrecks in DeKalb and Fulton counties, the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center reported.

All but one lane of the inner loop near Ga. 78 was blocked by a wreck, but all lanes reopened just before 5 p.m., the Traffic Center reported. Delays spanned back for miles and traffic is still slowly recovering.

Before I-20, two I-285 South lanes were blocked in Fulton County, and despite the lanes reopening around 6 p.m., delays remain back to I-75, the Traffic Center reported.

After a stormy end to a wet weather pattern over the weekend, North Georgia dried out Monday.

“We have earned this after last week,” Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brian Monahan said.

Unfortunately, the dry conditions won’t last long. Rain returns to the forecast Wednesday, according to Channel 2.

“The rain is going to come back, but it’s not going to be anything like we saw last week,” Monahan said.

Because of the recent rain, Lake Lanier is at its highest level since April 1977, according to Channel 2. The lake has reached 1,076 feet, five feet above full pool. Controlled releases at Buford Dam have begun, raising water levels in the Chattahoochee River.

“The lake levels (in Lanier) are dropping because of that release,” Monahan said. “The water in the Hooch is going to be rushing really fast.”

E. coli levels in the Chattahoochee River are also expected to rise, he said.

Channel 2 meteorologist Karen Minton said the break in the rain over the next few days is thanks to an area of high pressure that is dominating North Georgia weather. Once it moves out, it allows another weather-making front to move in.

It’s not all good news. The pollen count is back in the high range Monday at 538 particles per cubic meter of air as North Georgia dries out.

A little weather system is expected to bring a few showers Wednesday, but Monahan said the rain chances are a low 40 percent. Showers should be light and spotty, he said, with most of North Georgia picking up a quarter-inch to a half-inch of rain.

“During the work week, the highest rain chances — I want you to prepare for this — that’s going to be during the day on Thursday,” Monahan said. “We’ve got some rain coming in, and some of that rain could be heavy at times as it comes in from the west on Thursday.”

Rain remains in the forecast through the weekend, according to Channel 2. By Sunday, some areas north and south of Atlanta could see another 1 to 2 inches, Monahan said.

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