Heat Wave

Words on Weather and Climate — July 15, 2010

July 15, 2010 // 0 Comments

Heat Wave 2010 by CRAIG JAMES According to the National Weather Service, in our part of the country a heat wave is defined as a period of at least three consecutive days of temperatures at 90F or warmer. The period July 4 through July 7 had high temperatures each day of 92 degrees both in Grand Rapids and Lansing. The last heat wave was only three years ago, in 2007, when we had five days in a row of 90-degree weather with highs of 93, 97, 96, 94 and 91 between July 30 and August 3. What is amazing to me is not that we had four days in a row of temperatures in the 90s during the first week of July, but that all four days had exactly the same high temperature. Now that is a very rare event. In fact, it has only happened once before in Grand Rapids since records began back in 1892. I doubt it has ever happened in both Grand Rapids and Lansing at the same time with exactly the same temperatures. It still looks to me as if the entire summer is going to end up a little warmer than average, but it won’t produce many, if any, records for heat. The greatest number of consecutive 90-degree days on record is 11, set way back in 1901 when it was supposed to be cooler than now. How about the heat wave of 1936 when, between July 7 and July 14, high temperatures in Grand Rapids were 98, 101, 101, 102, 99, 106, 108 and 102. Several of those nights had lows around 80 and there was no air conditioning. What do you think the media would do if another heat wave like that occurred again today? The hottest weather of this heat wave was from Boston through New York City to Washington, D.C., where temperatures did hit 100 degrees or higher, but fortunately without the high humidity so common in heat waves in that part of the country. On Tuesday, July 6, the official high temperature in Baltimore, recorded at the Baltimore-Washington International airport, was 105 degrees, a new record for the date and just one degree shy of the all-time record high set in 1930. However, could […]