Here comes August
Well July is now almost over and one can ask where has summer gone? So far this summer here in Grand Rapids it has been a rather typical Michigan summer. That means not too hot, enough rain to keep most things green. It now looks like GRR has a very good chance of ending July 2017 as the driest July here since July 1976. So far this July has had 1.12″ of rain fall here and you would have to go back it July of 1976 when GRR only recorded 0.81″ of rain.
Here is where Grand Rapids stands so far this summer. In June the average high was 80.4° and the average low was 58.5° (good for +1.1°) in June GR received 4.88” of rain at the airport. Here in July so far the average high has been 82.7° and the average low has been 63.1° (good for an almost average +0.3°) and so far only 1.12” of rain here. This summer so far has seen 5 days of 90° or better and 6 days of 86° or better. Yes only 11 very warm to hot days that it. Not much to complain about in that department. Now if we can only get 11 nights that get colder than 15° next winter then we will be talking.
With August just around the corner it’s time to look at some past August averages and records. I know a common statement is “we still have August yet!” so lets take a look and see what years that August was warmer than July and or the “hottest” month of the summer. Well in the past there have been many years where indeed August has been warmer than both June and July. (the list in much larger than I thought it would be) many of the years where August was the warmest month of the summer it was the warmest month in a “cool” summer. Cool summers are indicated with a (*) Here is a list of the past years where August was the warmest month of the year. 1899, 1900, 1906, 1920(*) 1937, 1938, 1947(*) (warmest August at GRR), 1959, 1962(*), 1968(*), 1995, 2000(*), 2003(*), 2007, and 2009(*) If the past is any indication I would NOT expect this August to be the warmest month this summer.
The average mean temperature here in GRR for August is 71.8° The warmest was a hot 79.1° in 1947 the coldest was a cool 65.0° in 1992 the hottest day was 102° on August 6th 1918 the coldest low was 39° on August 30th 1976. The wettest was 8.46” in 1987 the driest was 0.13” in 1899. Last year the mean temperature was 73.5° with the hottest day being 92° on the 10th (there were 4 90° days in August last year) the coldest was 53° on the 22nd Last year was the 2nd wettest August with 7.97”
So now its time to see how August 2017 plays out. a few items to watch are is will this dry spell continue? Will we see any 90° days? GRR has only seen 5 so far this year. And how about thunderstorms?