GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — May was a cloudy, cool and wet month not just here in the Great Lakes but also through the Central Plains. The temperature in Grand Rapids ended up 1.7 degrees below average.
Rainfall was nearly 2 inches above average and where there was rain there were clouds. May sunshine was down a whopping 20 percent, and for 2019 it’s down nearly 11 percent. Every month this year we have had below average temperatures. The question is will June follow suit?
Let’s begin with the averages for June. The average high temperature begins in the mid 70s and ends with a high of 83 degrees. This represents Grand Rapids warmest average high temperature of the season. June 17 represents the first date the average high temperature equals 80 degrees.
Speaking of 80 degrees, we have yet to achieve that this year officially in Grand Rapids. Last Friday, May 31, Grand Rapids enjoyed the warmest temperature of 2019 of 79 degrees.
So close, but no cigar. It appears this upcoming Thursday we will have a good chance of achieving that elusive 80 degree temperature.
If so, it will mark 240 days between 80 degree temperatures in Grand Rapids — last one was October 9, 2018 — or an incredible seven months.
The date for the latest 80 degree temperature was June 12, 1924. We won’t be far from that. We are now into June and I think persistence is the way to go with the forecast. Below, what the Climate Prediction Center is forecasting for June. Note how it loosely resembles the temperature anomaly for May. I hope the precipitation outlook is correct in the Great Lakes with record level lake levels.
The flooding rains in the Midwest and Central Plains this spring I think will have an impact on June temperatures. All this rain has led to very wet soil.
With all this soil moisture in place it makes it more difficult to heat the atmosphere since evaporation is a cooling process. Therefore, a portion of sun’s energy will go into evaporating the water in the soil as opposed to directly heating it.
This will be the case across the Great Lakes and to the south of Michigan right through the Central Plains. This is important since our warmest temperatures typically arrive with a southerly wind. The latest 8-14 temperature outlook reflects this idea as well.
The precipitation outlook also keeps things from drying out much in the same locations that are excessively wet.
There is a weak El Nino currently established in the tropical Pacific. Researching June temperatures when this is the case often leads to above average temperatures so there are opposing signals. I will side with persistence. There is no doubt we will hit 80 degrees for the first time this June. The first 90 degree temperature, I think, will be a challenge to attain.
We typically only average two in June. I wouldn’t bank on a summer as hot as last year when we hit or eclipsed 90 degrees fifteen times —four outside of summer.