This week, of course, everyone is talking about the weather because of the heat. That's easy to understand because the heat wave was historic -- several records were broken, including the hottest day ever recorded in Lansing. Saturday will see the end of the heat wave, but before it leaves, we'll likely see one more 100 degree day, which would be the fourth straight. You have to go back to the Dust Bowl years of the 1930s to find such a stretch of hot days.
A cold front moves across West Michigan late Saturday night, putting an end to the excessive heat. By Sunday, the heat will be a memory, and next week, temperatures will be seasonable -- much more comfortable. And that will allow us to focus on another weather-related problem that is threatening West Michigan: drought.
Forecast models indicate our rain chances from late Saturday through early Sunday are spotty at best. In other words, some or most of West Michigan might not get ANY rain over the weekend. Next week, the weather looks bone dry. Skies will be sunny and rain chances slim to none. That's going to present some major problems for farmers who depend on Mother Nature for watering crops.
It's impossible to say how much rain "West Michigan" has received because some places (Grand Rapids, for example) have been lucky enough to see a couple of thunderstorms moving overhead. As a result, the Gerald R. Ford International Airport has officially measured about 2.5" inches of rain since June 1.
In Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, on the other hand, the thunderstorms have been non-existent, and so has rain. Kalamazoo has seen just 2.32" of rainfall since May 1st; that's at least five inches shy of what is typical. And since June 1, Kalamazoo has seen only .56" -- compared to about 4" which is normal for the period.