Heat Wave Early Next Week

Bill's Blog

It looks like we’re going to see the warmest weather we’ve had since the 2nd week of June. Temperatures early next week should reach the upper 80s to near 90°. To be a bona fide heat wave in Michigan, you’re supposed to have 3 consecutive days reach 90°.

Number of 90-degree days in Michigan this summer

So far this summer, the I-94 corridor has had the most 90-degree days, with 9 at Kalamazoo and 7 at Battle Creek. Grand Rapids has had just two days reach exactly 90° – that was June 11-12. Holland Muskegon have not reached 90° officially so far this summer.

Number of 90-degree days by year in Grand Rapids

Here’s the number of 90-degree days in past years in Grand Rapids. You can see it really varies from year to year. The most 90-degree days ever in G.R. was 37 in 1988. That’s followed by 35 in 1894 and 34 in 1931. The least number of 90-degree days was zero in 1951 and 2014.

In 1934, we were in the midst of a real heat wave. From the 20th to the 24th, we had successive high temperatures of 99°, 104°, 97°, 101° and 103°. Those five daily record high temperatures still stand today, 87 years later.

In fact, if you look at the 31 record high temperatures for the month of July in Grand Rapids, 25 daily record highs were set in the 46 years from 1894 to 1940 and only 6 have been set in the 80 years since 1941.

OK, let’s look at January for daily coldest record temperatures. Only 4 daily record lowest temperatures out of 31 were set from 1894 to 1940 and 27 daily record low temperatures have been set since 1940, including 5 since the year 2000.

The picture above is a screen grab last night from the webcam at Utqiagvik, Alaska (formerly Barrow, Alaska). North of the Arctic Circle, the have the “midnight sun”, though in Utquiagvik you’re more likely to have bright stratus clouds. Over the course of the year, they average just 30% of possible sunshine. The current temperature was 44° when I grabbed this pic. The warmest they have been this month is 56°. The warmest they have EVER been is 79°, the coldest -56°F. The average high and low over the course of the year is 17°/6°F. It’s a “cold desert”. They average just 4.53″ of precipitation per year. Most of that comes as snow (an average of 39″ per year – much less than West Michigan. You can see that the ice is finally breaking up in the Arctic Ocean to the north.

Pretty Cumulonimbus Cloud near Haines, Alaska

In between shows, I bounce around the internet looking for something interesting. This was a pictures from an FAA camera near Haines, Alaska. That’s a nice cumulonimbus cloud over the mountains. Note the snow that’s left on the mountains here in mid-July.

Wild Firewood along a road in Central Alaska

This pic. shows fireweed along the side of a road in Denali National Park in Alaska. Very pretty.

Storm reports from Tuesday 7 20 21

Here’s storm reports from Tuesday. While we stayed dry in West Michigan, thunderstorms formed over Saginaw Bay and dropped south, producing strong winds and hail. Wind damage was reported at Attica, Auburn Hills (and other places in Oakland Co), Canton and Chelsea (also 3/4″ hail in Chelsea). Oxford reported 60 mph winds and small hail. As of 2 am Wed., there were still 37,323 customers without power in Michigan.

Again there was only one tornado in the U.S. and it was small, short lived and inconsequential. The most severe weather was in New York state, where there were many reports of wind damage and hail up to 2″ in diameter.

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