If anything this summer will go down in the history books as a hot one which will change our historic norms temperature wise. Some blame climate change though I don’t hold to that opinion as we have had hot summers in the past. Our hot summer this year has been caused by the jet stream pattern which have blocked weather patterns from migration. In our area high pressure systems have been locked in place creating a big bubble of heat (simply put). Much of the U.S., Canada and northern Europe have been warmer than normal this summer and these blocking patterns have been partially to blame for the lack of hurricanes and typhoons. There are currently no tropical disturbances in the Atlantic or the eastern Pacific. In the central Pacific we have Hurricane Lane which is moving towards mainland Hawaii where there are hurricane advisories and warnings in effect.
If you are thinking of going to Lake Michigan to escape the heat this weekend you may be surprised to find the water is turning colder due to the winds today causing an upwelling of the the water. Buoy temps have dropped from 73° to 41° late yesterday.
We will see lots of sunshine through Friday with temps cooler than normal and comfortable humidity levels. Another change is in store for the weekend when the hot and humid air will be back in place and should last through most of next week.
1939: A total of 4.22 inches of rain falls for the wettest August day on record at Grand Rapids.
1977: Cool air from Canada brings record lows of 37 degrees at Lansing and 43 degrees at Grand Rapids.
1996: Severe thunderstorms produce damaging winds from Cadillac to Ionia. Montcalm County is one of the hardest hit places. Numerous trees are blown down from Greenville to Sheridan. In the town of Sheridan, there several reports of building damage mostly to roofs. A school in Greenville had a large plate glass window blown out.
1992: Temperatures fall into the 30s in some rural areas during the coldest August on record at Grand Rapids. Record lows for the day include 42 degrees at Muskegon and 43 degrees at Grand Rapids.
2007: Heavy rain falls across southern Lower Michigan for the second consecutive day. Grand Rapids and Lansing both set daily rainfall records and some places see over 4 inches of rain for the two day total on the 19th and 20th.
2016: Tornadoes strike from Bangor to Grand Rapids and east of Belding. There were no injuries, despite damage to several buildings and hundreds of trees being downed.
1958: Heavy rains fall for the second day in a row, causing some flooding in the Grand Rapids area where the two day rain total from August 20-21 was over 4 inches.
1975: A tornado blew down fruit trees in an orchard at Climax, in Kalamazoo County.
2003: A tornado with top winds around 120 mph strikes eastern Ingham County injuring two people and destroying two homes. The damage path was 4 and a half miles long and up to one half mile wide.
1936: The Dust Bowl summer of 1936 produced more record heat, with a high of 98 degrees at Grand Rapids and 94 at Lansing.
1964: Tornadoes struck in Calhoun, Lenawee and Hillsdale Counties. Three people were injured northeast of Battle Creek as a house and factory were damaged.
1966: A tornado struck Bellevue in Eaton County, damaging a house, garage and two cars.
2001: Severe weather and flooding hit Allegan, Ottawa and Kent Counties. Damaging winds hit Hudsonville, Plainwell, Dorr and Grand Rapids. Flooding occurred in eastern Van Buren and Kalamazoo Counties where three to five inches of rain is estimated to have fallen in less than 6 hours. Several streets were closed by flooding in Oshtemo flooded. Some businesses had to pump water out of their stores in Kalamazoo during the height of the storms.
2002: Several inches of rain in less than three hours caused flash flooding in Kalamazoo, where two homes and two businesses sustained extensive damage. Waldo Stadium, on the campus of Western Michigan University, also had major flooding. At one point, three feet of standing water covered the entire football field. The flooding caused an estimated 200,000 dollars in damage.
2007: Severe weather strikes Lower Michigan with large hail and damaging winds. Some of the worst damage is across Montcalm County where thousands of trees are downed by a tornado and downburst combination that produced estimated wind speeds up to 100 mph.
1947: The second long heat wave of the month comes to a close with record highs of 98 degrees at Grand Rapids and 96 degrees at Muskegon, contributing to the warmest August on record across West Michigan.
2006: Up to baseball-sized hail fell from a severe storm at Grand Junction in Van Buren County.
2007: Tornadoes strike Lower Michigan, with the worst damage near Potterville in Eaton County. Five people are injured and 15 homes are destroyed by a tornado with peak winds estimated at 140 mph. A weaker tornado hit southeast of Lansing but damage was limited to trees falling on mobile homes.
1910: A tornado injured four people near Scottville in Mason County. The tornado destroyed a cement block building, hurling the roof a half mile. Several other buildings were unroofed.
1940: A stalled cold front brings clouds and very cool high temperatures. At Muskegon the high was only 56 degrees and Lansing was 57, both records for the coldest maximum temperatures for the month of August. The high of 60 degrees at Grand Rapids is only one degree higher than the record of 59 degrees set on August 26, 1987.
2004: A strong downburst tore the roof off a section of the Maple Valley High School in Eaton County. The same storm produced a weak tornado minutes later that took the tin roof off a house in Vermontville.
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