Sometimes after the late news is over and it’s quiet, I spend some time bouncing around the internet to see what I can learn about the long-range weather. Here’s a little bit on what I’ve been thinking.
First, despite the cool start to August, temperatures will be above average by the time we get to the weekend and I think much of the rest of August will be a touch warmer than average.
This is the 8-14 day temperatures outlook for August 10-16 from the Climate Prediction Center. They forecast warmer than average weather over much of the U.S., including the Great Lakes, Northeast and the West Coast. Cooler than average weather is expected from SW Texas to Arizona.
Don’t let the blue color there fool you into thinking it’s actually cool there. Phoenix AZ has an average high temperature of 104° in August. So, if it’s 2° cooler than average, it’s still 102°. Phoenix had 14 days in July when they saw lightning or heard thunder. They had the coolest 3-day stretch of high temperatures ever from July 23rd to 25th with highs of 83°, 83° and 81°. During those 3 days, Phoenix had 1.09″ of rain. The highest temp. in Phoenix in July was 112° on the 9th and 10th.
Right now, I think August, September and at least the first half of October will be warmer than average in West Michigan. The hurricane season started early with Ana getting a name on May 22. Three more tropical storms followed and then the first hurricane, Elsa, took 9 days (July 1 – 9) to track through the Caribbean, making landfall in Cuba and Florida, moving along the East Coast and up into the Canadian Maritime Provinces.
Since July 9, the Atlantic has been as quiet as a drive-in at noon. I expect that will change and well see an above average number of hurricanes and tropical storms in the Atlantic/Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico from mid-August to mid-October. I also expect an above average number of tropical storm and hurricane hits along the East Coast of the U.S. and the Gulf of Mexico. We often see mostly sunny and mild weather in the Great Lakes when late summer hurricanes move up the East Coast. Overall, it should be a nice fall in West Michigan.
We’ve had 3 years in a row with warmer than average temperatures in December here in West Michigan. Last year we didn’t have any measurable snow from Dec. 1st-23rd. That’s not going to happen this year. Last year, February was our winter month – 6° colder than average with over 30″ of snow in G.R. I think there’s a good chance that December will be cold this year and a good chance that we’ll have snow on the ground on Christmas Day.