GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — July kicked off with a bang — or more of a rumble.
Thunderstorms brought relief from the heat as storms with pockets of strong wind rolled through West Michigan Sunday. Reports of damage were minimal, but there were numerous power outages.
So far this year, severe weather has been scarce in Michigan. Normally, the Midwest would be in the thick of severe weather season. Michigan had to wait until July 1 for the first severe thunderstorm watch of the year.
Prior to Sunday, Kent County didn’t have a severe thunderstorm warning issued since May 9 — nearly two months ago.
It’s rare to go through the entire month of June without a severe thunderstorm warning. As of July 1, there were 120 severe weather reports in Michigan this year. It may sound like a lot, but isn’t.
The running annual average of severe weather reports in Michigan is 524 reports. Since it’s half way through the year, the average tally should be 262 reports.
The 120 reports so far place the state well blew the average by nearly 76 percent. The last time Michigan recorded an above average severe weather year was 2011.
During the past decade, the state only experienced two years — 2008 and 2011 — with above average severe weather.
The tornado count has been down nationally as well with only 571 reported this year. No tornados have been report so far this year in Michigan. The next chance for severe weather in Michigan will be in the western UP on the Fourth of July.
The area for severe weather risk may slide east, which would include lower Michigan on July 5. Stay tune to Storm Team 8 to see whether that changes.