Record-setting heat

Becky Vargo • Sep 25, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Area residents flocked to the lakes, beaches and ice cream stores as temperatures hit a record high along the lakeshore on Saturday.

Visitors hiked and biked in after the Grand Haven State Park parking lots filled. There was a large part of the parking area closed due to construction.

Lake Michigan was calm and the water temperature was in the area of 68-74 degrees over the last few days, which is pretty normal for September, according to Ernie Ostuno, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids. 

What is not normal for the first day of fall is high temperatures reaching the 90s, he said.

Saturday’s high of 92 degrees at the Muskegon County Airport was a record, well over the record high of 86 degrees on this date in 2010, said Ostuno. 

Sunday’s high of 86 degrees in Muskegon was just a notch shy of matching the record of 87 degrees.

Brian Workman of Kent City dropped by Miss Lisa’s in Ferrysburg after spending a couple of hours at North Beach County Park Sunday afternoon with his 3-year-old daughter, Kallie.

“It was full when we got there at 1,” Workman said as he cooled off with some ice cream. “We had to park on the side of the road.”

Workman said there were also a lot of boats on Lake Michigan.

“The water was as perfect as it could be,” he said.

Paul and Betty Lou Mooney of Spring Lake also stopped in for a couple of chocolate and vanilla twister cones.

“The season is closing and we have to make sure we get here one last time,” Betty Lou said. “Summer isn’t summer without Miss Lisa’s.”

The summerlike weather, at least on the weekend, was a boon for the business that saw sales slide with cooler than usual July and August.

“This weekend’s been very good,” said Dorothy Wheat. “But it’s a little late.”

Wheat and co-worker Ed Page agreed it would have been nice to have the warm weather before school started.

Miss Lisa’s closes for the season on Sept. 30.

High temperatures in August topped the 80 mark (as recorded in Muskegon) only a dozen times. The highest temperature in August was 87 degrees on Aug. 17. The lowest high temperature was 71 degrees on Aug. 27. The lowest low temperature was 47 degrees on Aug. 26.

In July, there were 20 days over 80 degrees. The highest temperature was 88 degrees on July 28. The lowest high was 73 degrees on July 14. The lowest low temperature was 54 degrees on July 30.

In September, so far, there have been seven days over 80 degrees, with three of those at 90 or higher. The lowest high so far was 64 degrees on Sept. 7. The lowest low was 41 degrees on Sept. 2.

Local sports teams took precautions in dealing with the weather over the weekend. On Friday, Grand Haven’s varsity football game at Rockford was pushed back 30 minutes.

On Saturday, Sue Constantine, president of the Lakeshore Soccer Club (formerly the Tri-Cities Strikers), sent an email to coaches urging them to be prepared for the heat.

“Have your team players on the bench prepared to have drinks ready and available for players that are on the field; and send reminders to your parents to send more than one water bottle with their players,” the email read. “Watch for over-heated players and sub often.”

With hot weather expected to persist for the next few days, many West Michigan schools have announced plans to close early – or to be closed entirely – on Monday due to extreme heat.

Rockford, Kenowa Hills, Grandville, Kentwood and Lowell schools will all have a half day Monday.




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