Winds howl and temperatures soar
West Michigan – A powerful storm system brought record warmth and very strong winds for Friday afternoon. Scattered damage was reported with trees down and power outages.
Widespread wind gusts from 45-55 mph occurred across West Michigan during the afternoon hours. The highest gust was 71 mph reported at Jamestown in Ottawa county at 2:53 pm. G.R. Ford Airport reported a wind gust of 70 mph at 3:24 this afternoon. According to the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids, the 70 mph wind gusts was one of the highest ever reported at the airport in Grand Rapids. The highest know gust is 80 mph during the Armistice Day storm of November 11, 1940.
The strong southwest winds brought record warmth to Grand Rapids. The high today was 61 degrees for February 19th. That beat the old record high which was 59 degrees set back in 1930. That’s quiet a change from last year. The high on this date one year ago was 7 degrees. That was the coldest high temperature for February 19th on record.
Temperatures will stay above average with dry weather for the weekend and less wind.