A long dry spell has residents of 53 Georgia counties, including those around Atlanta, under Level 1 Drought Response.

Level 1 Drought Response is largely an educational phase with voluntary watering restrictions.  It carries no specific watering restrictions, but it can serve as a warning that restrictions may be on the way.

More than 7 million Georgians live in drought conditions and all of metro Atlanta is under severe or extreme drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. According to the National Weather Service, from March through August, Atlanta received 16.59 inches of rain, 8.37 inches short of average. That rainfall deficit, about a third of normal, has pushed the drought.

Weather watchers say it is time to start paying attention to the lack of rain. 

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