National Weather Service

New warning siren paid for by fire millage

September 6, 2012 // 0 Comments

Residents who voted to approve a fire millage in Courtland Township already have a tangible benefit from the monies after installation of a fifth warning siren near Braeside Golf Course on Ten Mile Road. Fire Chief Mickey Davis explained, “We now have five emergency warning sirens in Courtland Township. This is what some of our fire millage will be used for. Each siren costs about $20,000. When the National Weather Service issues an alert such as a tornado warning, Kent County dispatch activates all emergency sirens in the county. The sirens are tested at noon on the first Friday of the month from April to October. This siren is located at Braeside Golf Course on 11 Mile Road east of Courtland Drive.”

Technology helps deal with emergencies after fiber optic line goes down

May 3, 2012 // 0 Comments

by CINDY M. CRANMER With the help of technology, emergency calls were offline for only a brief period of time after a fiber optic line was cut Monday, according to officials. Working with the National Weather Service, Kent County Emergency Dispatch officials were able to notify area residents of a fiber optic problem that was affecting emergency dispatch calls in some areas. Cell phone users and computer users that have emergency alerts on their phones or through e-mail learned that there was a fiber optic problem that caused affecting landlines in the Grattan Township area on Monday, April 23. Calls from a landline were not able to go through to the emergency dispatch center. An alert was sent out notifying people that landlines were not able to call 911 and to use a cell phone or to connect with the local fire departments. Grattan Township officials said a fiber optic line was cut, affecting people with a 691 prefix. Kent County dispatchers say the problem was fixed as of Tuesday morning, April 24. Phone calls were being rerouted, according to Grattan Township officials, even before the original fiber optic line was fixed. Calls were being rerouted to the fire departments and then to the dispatch center. Ionia County dispatchers also had a problem with landline phones in the Orleans area of 761 on Monday. That problem also has now been resolved. Montcalm County dispatchers were reporting some problems Tuesday, April 24 with cellular phone service in the Greenville area that could be linked to the landline problems in Kent and Ionia counties. While cell phone users in the Greenville and Belding areas were having problems making phone calls Monday night, those in Kent County’s Grattan Township area were still able to use cell phones to call 911. The landline phones were the only ones having problems. Officials said the lines were being worked on and rerouted before the problem was even fixed. Therefore, there was no major disruption of service calls because of the speed in which technology was able to be utilized to reroute calls to area fire departments. The alerts sent out from the National Weather Service also recommended calling or going to the local fire department if someone could not get through […]

Words on Weather & Climate

September 9, 2010 // 0 Comments

Summer 2010  I’ve mentioned before that meteorologists consider the full months of June, July and August to be the summer season. I guess that means summer is over and it is now fall. It certainly felt like fall last Friday and Saturday. The older I get the longer winter seems to last and the summers go by more quickly. It seemed like a warm and humid summer this year so let’s take a look at the numbers. According to the National Weather Service, this was the fourth warmest summer of record in Grand Rapids. It was warmer in 1921, 1901 and 1933. In Muskegon, it was the warmest summer of record. What is amazing is that there were no record high temperatures set across the area. Grand Rapids had eight days with highs of 90 degrees or more. The average is nine. The highest summer temperature was just 93 degrees. In the hot summer of 1988, the last time it hit 100 degrees, there were 37 days with highs of 90 or higher and 14 days with highs of 95 degrees or higher. What made this summer so warm were the warm nights caused by high humidity. The warm nights produced some of the tallest corn I have ever seen. Grand Rapids had 20 days with lows of 70 degrees or higher, which is tied with 1921 for the greatest number of summer days with lows of 70’s degrees or warmer. There were very few cool Canadian air masses this summer to give us cool nights and beautiful blue skies during the daytimes. At least it was sunny. We received 71 percent of possible sunshine. Out of the 102 days between June 1 and August 31, there were only 12 cloudy days. There was measurable rain on just four days in August. How did the rest of the country turn out? Here is a map showing temperature departures from average across the U.S. for the summer season.   You can see that from the Central Plains to the East Coast, this was a hot summer, especially just south of the Ohio River where some of the heaviest snow fell last winter. It was the warmest June & July of record in Washington D. C. and […]

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 […]