July was sunnier and warmer than average in West Michigan. Grand Rapids had 73% sunshine for the month, following a record sunniest June (82%). We only had 6 days with less than 50% sunshine. The month ended with an average temperature in Grand Rapids of 75.7° and that was 3.2° warmer than average. Kalamazoo ended up 4.1° warmer than average. G.R. had 10 days that reached 90°, though none were higher than 94°. Every day in July had a high temperature of at least 80°. Our string of 80-degree or warmer days may end today (Sat.) at 35 days.
It was the 2nd warmest July ever at Muskegon, in part due to light winds that we often not coming off Lake Michigan. It was also the 7th warmest July ever at Lansing and 9th warmest at Kalamazoo.
Rainfall was quite variable. Grand Rapids (Ford Airport) had 4.75″ of rain. That was nearly an inch (+0.97″) above average and 126% of average rainfall. Kalamazoo (again at the airport) on the other hand only had 1.46″. That was 2.24″ below average and only 39% of average. Grand Rapids (airport) had 3 consecutive days from the 6th – 8th with over an inch of rain each day. Most of the area didn’t see that much rain that day. Above you see the latest drought monitor. Much of West Michigan is in the “D0” – “abnormally dry” category, which is no big deal. Most of the Corn Belt has adequate moisture.
The above pic. is sunset on Bois Blanc Island near Mackinac Island on July 17, 2020. I took the pic. Northern Michigan had a lot of rain in July, led by Alpena with a whopping 8.10″. That was 3.59″ above average. Other rainfall totals for July from N. Lower Michigan and departures from average: Marquette 6.32″ (+3.48″), Gaylord 5.34″ (+2.27″) and Traverse City 5.09″ (+2.07″).
July was a relatively calm month, despite several thunderstorm days with stronger winds. The average wind speed for month at Kalamazoo was just 5.4 mph and at Jackson 5.1 mph.
Near to above average temperatures are likely in August, depending on where the hurricanes go…this will likely be a near record year for hurricane activity in the Atlantic/Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico, while we are having a near record low number of tropical storms in the Western Pacific.