Summer Slaps In

Top of the month of July to you.

Thursday brought the heat. While my station topped out at just over 98F, stations near Detroit did hit the triple digits. Heat indices were easily into the lower 100s across much of central and southern lower Michigan. I hit 105F.

I took some time to look up some climate information, since we seem to be a little off track this year. A quick glance at these graphs from the NWS in Grand Rapids, shows Lansing precipitation levels in 2012 a shy bug compared to 2011’s deluge. Also, you can see the unpredictable March temperatures. This year we had our heat spike into the lower 80s, last year it was a plummet into the lower 20s/teens. If you’re interested in viewing other years, check out this page.

Annual temperature/precipitation for 2011 in Lansing, MI.

The dry has been apparent. Our rough 3 inch deficit has burnt grass to a crisp and left some streams aching for life. What causes our dry spells? Some blocking features contribute to the dry weather by forcing the jet stream and other components out of our region and this complicates chances of rain. I will need to look into this further.

Below is a map of how far off we are from ‘normal’ precipitation for the month of June. Much of southern lower Michigan is in an area where just 5%-25% of normal rain measurements have been met.

Friday brought to life an interesting weather feature. Derechoes are long-lived convective systems that move fast, and provide high straight-line winds. This derecho was indeed long-lived as the path included the photo below, and eventually went out to DC. The sky was dark enough to be storm threatening from 2 counties north. A thorough review of this event can be found here including CAPE, CIN, and weather balloon analysis(oh goodie).

The outlook continues to be warm. High temps this week will remain in the lower to mid 90s. At least through mid-week, we carry a chance for thunderstorms. So perhaps some of the drought threats will be quenched, at least locally. Best chance looks to be Tuesday when a short-wave disturbance tries to fire some showers and storms.


About gweatherc
Live in Michigan and enjoy observing the weather. Want to pursue it as a career! Currently taking classes at Central Michigan University.

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