Call it heat, warmth, hot, red hot, a scorcher, a heat etc. and that describes Muskegon in July. On only 3 days did the temperature fail to reach at least 80°. On 2 days (4th,21st) it hit 90°. Average temperature was 74.5°. This is 4.5 degrees greater than normal.
This is the first time in at least 2 years that July has been warmer than normal. It was definitely the first truly hot summer month of the new millennium. Historically, it was the 4th warmest July in Muskegon trailing 1916, 1955 and 1901 which averaged 76.1°.
The warmth did combine to keep down the rain and make for a dry month. 1.57 inches of rain fell, 3/4 of an inch below normal. Biggest day for rain was Monday the 8th with .75 inches recorded.
July was a bit above normal in terms of wind speed. For the month the average was 8 knots, .3 above the normal level. Windiest day was the 21st at 14.4 knots. This was the day that the Chicago Mac fleet stormed north past Muskegon with a new record set.
On 25 of the days winds were either south or west. On 20 of these days temps were above normal. There were 5 days with SW winds (4 of 5 above normal) and 4 with west by north. winds (2 of 4 above normal)
July’s heat puts 2002 in Muskegon at + 2.2° in relations to normals. This is warmer than at the same point in 2001, but behind 2000 when temperatures were 2.5° above normal.
Going forward, August temperatures tend to be not quite as hot. The last two years have seen August highs of 89° and 87°. Temperatures will probably dip below 50° at least once. Wind-wise South and West again should be prevailing directions. Last August the 1st 21 days has south or west winds.
Finally, since it at times in July it felt like 100° as measured by the heat index, one might ask has it ever been 100° in Muskegon? The answer is, no although a high of 99° has been recorded in August. That’s probably thanks to the cooling affects of the lake as nearby but inland Grand Rapids has recorded 100 degree temps in July and August.
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