I’ve had several people ask me why it’s been windy this spring/early summer. I’ve had that impression, too.

The average wind speed hasn’t been too far from average. By month: June 8.8 mph, May 9.4 mph, April 11.5 mph, March 11.0 mph and February 11.7 mph. However, we’ve had quite a few days when it’s been windy during the day (when you’re apt to be outside) and not nearly as windy at night. For example, on June 16th, we had a peak wind gust of 45 mph, but the average wind from midnight-to-midnight was just 14.0 mph. On June 3rd, the peak gust was also 45 mph, but the average wind from midnight-to-midnight was just 10.1 mph.

During the day, the sun heats the surface of the earth and there are rising currents of air. The air mixes with winds above the ground, which are often stronger, so the wind picks up during the day. At night, a cool, stable layer of air can form near the ground and the wind becomes calmer.

The peak gusts of wind this spring in Grand Rapids so far this year have been 58 mph on April 14th and 62 mph on March 3rd. From April 11 through May 1, we had only 5 days when the average wind speed was less than 10 mph – so that was a windy stretch.

Much of West Michigan hasn’t have really strong wind gusts from severe thunderstorms this year. The storms from June 13-14 produced wind gusts to 82 mph at the S. Haven Lighthouse, 66 mph in Three Rivers, 75 mph at White Pigeon, 84 mph at Chicago-O’Hare and 98 mph at Fort Wayne, Indiana.

January is often the windiest month of the year and August is often calmest month. Someone figured out that the calmest day is August 3 and the windiest is Jan. 12. I don’t know if that’s right, but it would be a good guess.