Warmth and sunshine were hallmarks of meteorological summer 2020

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — It wasn’t until this year that I heard the words “social distancing.” I think most can agree it’s easier to that when it’s nice outside. Cue the summer of 2020.

Here’s the breakdown.

Meteorological summer (June, July and August) of 2020 probably put a smile on many faces as it was characterized as warm, sunny and mostly dry.

The temperature breakdown is interesting.

Seventy-nine percent of all the summer days had a high temperature of 80 degrees or warmer and July didn’t have a single day less than 80. We nearly doubled the average 90 degree count at 16, falling just short of 2016 and 2018 (assuming we don’t receive any during September). June 13 was the only day we had a high temperature that did not make it out of the 60s.

What accompanied many of those warm days was a plethora of sunshine. June set the tone as it was the sunniest June on record at 82.3%, beating out the 81.7% of June 1963. Sunscreen was at a premium with every month recording above normal sunshine.

The summer ended with an average of 76% total sunshine, well above the 63% normal. In fact, an incredible 85% percent of the days received more than 50% sunshine.

Despite all the sunshine, there were days we occasionally had to use the umbrella. Both June and August ended up nearly an inch below average, with July coming in at nearly an inch above average. The net result was a lot of brown lawns, as indicated by the latest drought monitor:

It was quite a split across the state. Basically, the farther north in the state, the more rainfall there was and the farther south, the less.

Some areas near the Menominee River in the Upper Peninsula had a surplus of 6 to 10 inches while near the Michigan-Indiana state line, there was a deficit of 2 to 4 inches. Coming off a wet spring, Grand Rapids’ summer deficit was 0.95 inches.

Now that we’ve all become acclimated to the warm temperatures of summer, September is bringing a true shot of cool fall weather. The latest 8- to 14-day temperature outlook points to several days with highs in the 60s and maybe the first lows in the 40s next week.

The cool start to September may be a prelude of the remainder of the month as the dominant heat shifts to the West Coast and cooler-than-average temperatures are forecast to migrate over the Western Great Lakes and Central Plains.

I guess it will make the hot cider and warm pumpkin spiced lattes all that much more savory.


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