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Forecast calls for dry days

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett's drought worsened over the weekend, with conditions downgraded Monday from severe to extreme.

The change does not come with additional restrictions on water usage, but it means that weather is only expected to be this dry once every 50 years. Of the state's 159 counties, 95 are in extreme drought, State Climatologist David Stooksbury said, with 49 others in severe, 12 in moderate and three in mild.

The watering ban goes by a different measure and is determined statewide. Current restrictions are at level two, which means even and odd numbered addresses can only water outdoors between midnight and 10 a.m. on alternating days.

Sean Ryan, an intern for the National Weather Service, said while there is a 30 percent chance of rain today, no real relief is in sight.

"It looks like a dry rest of the week," he said. "There's no rain at all the entire rest of the forecast."

The National Weather Service's report looks dry until Monday.

Stooksbury said previously that a Duluth measuring station was more than 11 inches below normal rainfall for the year and soil moisture and river levels were also low. Michael Lapina, a spokesman for Lake Lanier, said the lake is 4 feet below its full pool level of 1,071 feet and is expected to fall nearly 2 more feet by the end of June.

Lapina said the drought should not mean any change in the amount of water released into the Chattahoochee River.

"Atlanta needs water," he said. "There's not much water flowing."