Increasing Drought

Bill’s Blog

Posted: Jul 2, 2020 / 12:33 PM EDT Updated: Jul 2, 2020 / 12:43 PM EDT

Drought Monitor – map for July 2

This is the Drought Monitor from June 30 (released Thurs. July 2). At this point, very little of the country is experiencing severe drought. Most all of the Corn Belt and major agricultural areas either have adequate soil moisture or are areas that are irrigated. Compare the current map to the drought we experienced during the “Dust Bowl” years of the 1930s:

Drought Monitor of the Summer of 1934

While it’s often taught that this was the cause of poor agricultural practices, that was only a part of the picture (and in the opinion of some, only a small part. Note the drought extended across the Rockies to the West Coast). In the 1930s, we had 12 days that reached 100 degrees in Grand Rapids. Since the 1930s, we’ve had a total of 7 days that have reached 100 degrees, including 2 days in 2012). The warmest two days ever in G.R. were July 12-13, 1936 with high temperatures of 106° and 108°. Newaygo reached 111° and Mio recorded Michigan’s highest temperature ever at 112°.

The chance of a pop-up shower or t-shower (mainly in inland areas) is not zero over the next several days, but it is small. Here’s radar:

Click for latest Base Reflectivity radar loop from the Grand Rapids/Muskegon, MI radar and current weather warnings

and Regional Radar:

Central Great Lakes sector
Go to: Loop of this image

As of noon – Muskegon (airport) was up to 92 degrees. That site appears to be reading too warm on sunny, hot days of late. No other station is warmer than 88°. Grand Rapids is 86 at noon. The water temp. of Reeds Lake (East Grand Rapids – an inland lake) is 81°. The water temp. at Holland St. Park is at 74°. Air temperatures are cooler at Lake Michigan. At 12:30 pm, the air temp. is 76.5° at Muskegon, 76° at Holland St. Park and 75 at Holland St. Park. Here’s current Michigan temperatures. High water closes bridge near Frankfort MI.