Very dry July; will August be more of the same?

brown lawn
(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — If your lawn is crispy, you’re not alone. Many West Michigan homeowners are hoping August will usher in more rain, after a very dry July 2017.

Unlike parts of Southwest Michigan which received a surplus of rain, Grand Rapids to the north was especially parched in July. Grand Rapids ended the month with rainfall deficit of 2.66 inches. The heaviest rainfall of the month was only 0.34 inches, which happened July 13.

July rainfall
The above map shows July’s rainfall departure from average.

Likely more memorable was the line of deadly storms that moved through the area during the early morning hours of July 7,  producing wind gusts of 58 mph at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport with some reports of winds near 90 mph from Grand Haven to Allendale.

>>Inside Photos and video of July 7, 2017 storm damage


Sometimes when it’s dry, you fry. That was not the case for Michigan this July, as temperatures ended the month very close to average.

August temperature averages
The above chart shows average temperatures in August.

West Michigan only experienced one 90 degree day in July, compared to four 90 degree days in June. The bulk of the heat remained in the western U.S., where it has been quite dry.

July temperatures in North America
The above map shows the July temperature anomaly through North America.

The average temperatures reflect the decreasing amount of daylight. Since the summer solstice, we’ve lost nearly an hour of daylight. Through the month of August, we’ll lose nearly another 90 minutes of it.

The above chart shows the decreasing amount of daylight from Aug. 1 to Nov. 1.

However, the lack of rain led to more sunshine during what is already Michigan’s sunniest month of the year on average.

The above chart shows statistics for July 2017 in Grand Rapids.


While August 2016 was warm and the second wettest on record with nearly eight inches of rain, West Michigan can expect conditions closer to normal. The August 2017 forecast from the National Weather Service does not include abnormal temperatures or abnormal precipitation.

Storm Team 8 expects a pattern change to arrive this weekend, bringing wetter and cooler conditions to the area. It appears West Michigan will escape from any heat waves, at least through the first half of August.

Meteorologist Matt Kirkwood thinks the warmest portion of August will be the second half of the month.

The above map shows the 8-14 day temperature outlook for the United States.

The temperature forecast for the country doesn’t stray much from the 8-14 day outlook. The Pacific northwest will remain the hot and driest spot, according to the the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s model.


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