Some Michigan averages and extremes

posted in: Michigan Weather Forecast, Slim | 7

This week I will take a look at some annual Michigan averages and then look as some extremes over the years. I think we have seen less thunderstorms in the last few years just by looking at the number of “Thunderstorm days” for GR I don’t think one gets an accurate idea as the NWS calls it a “Thunderstorm” if only one or two strikes nearby are reported. So far GRR has recorded 33 “thunderstorm days” this year. Sorry to say I do not recall seeing 33 thunderstorms this year but I might have to start counting them. If anyone can remember all 33 thunderstorm days lets me know. Anyway, that brings me to my 1st annual average. On average here is a list of the number of thunderstorm “days” at several Michigan locations. Alpena 34, Detroit (downtown) 29, Detroit airport 32, Flint 33, Grand Haven 30, Grand Rapids 37, Houghton Lake 39, Lansing 34, Ludington 37, Muskegon 38, Escanaba 33, Houghton 23, Marquette 29 and Sault Ste. Marie 30. The one surprise here is the low number for the cities of Detroit and Flint. As it seems that the east side of the state gets more “Thunderstorm watches” than the west side but maybe not? Now here is a list of clear/cloudy days at the same locations. Alpena 67/193. Detroit airport 80/177. Flint 66/194, Grand Rapids 65/204. Houghton Lake 65/199. Lansing 72/189. Muskegon 77/200. Escanaba 102/155. Marquette 61/203 and Sault Ste. Marie 66/208.
Now for some annual (and other) extremes the warmest place in Michigan is Grosse Point and Monroe average temp is 49.9° the coldest is Champion annual average is 38.8° The warmest July average highs of 85° happen in Dearborn and Kalamazoo. (GR is 83°) The coldest January average lows are at Bergland -1° (GR is 18°) The longest “Heat Wave” Kalamazoo with 9 days in a row of 100°+ in 1936. The longest “Cold Wave” maximum below 0° 8 days at Ewen 1899. Longest “cold wave” nights (lows of 0 and below) 35 at Bessemer in 1936. Hottest day time high (official) 112 at Mio coldest (official) low -51° at Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt also has the shortest average growing season of only 59 days. The coldest maximum temperature in Michigan is -21° at Ironwood January 17, 1982. The longest average growing season is in Detroit with 184 days. For Rocky the snowiest location in Michigan is Delaware with 241.5” the least snow on average falls at Grose Point 28.7” (GRR average is around 75”) the biggest one day snowstorm was 33.5” at Baldwin on November 30th 1960. And the biggest snowstorm was at Calumet 46.1” The least snow for the winter was a reported 1.1” at Eaton Rapids in the winter of 1948/49 (that is one we can try for this winter) At Grand Rapids the least snow for a winter season is a reported 20.0” in the winter of 1905/06. The most snow for a winter season at GR is 132.0” in the winter of 1951/52. the most on the ground was 80” at Marquette on February 16th 1971. The most officially reported here at Grand Rapids is 27” on January 27th 1978.
Here is a list of the record warmest highs and the record coldest lows for each month at Grand Rapids.
Record High Record Low
January 66° set January 25th 1950 -22 set January 18th 1994
February 69 set February 11th 1999 -24 set February 13,14 1899
March 87 set March 21st 2012 -13 set March 8th 1943
April 90 set April 29th 1899 +3 set April 7th 1982
May 95 set may 29th 1934 21 set May 1st 1903
June 102 set June 1st 1935 32 set June 4th 1943
July 108 set on July 13th 1936 41 set July 6th 1983
August 102 set August 6th 1918 39 set August 30th 1976
September 98 set on September 2nd 1913 27 set September 27th 1991
October 89 set on October 1st 1897 18 set on September 30th 1988
November 81 set on November 1st 1950 -10 set on November 25th 1950
December 69 set on December 5th 2001 -18 set on December 19th 1983

September 2019 was very warm across the area and most of Michigan.  It was not a much above average the more north one went. Here is the September 2019 mean and the ranking across the major reporting locations. Grand Rapids 66.4° 8th warmest. Muskegon 66.4° 5th warmest.  Kalamazoo 68.7° 2nd warmest. Lansing too much missing data.  Detroit 68.6° 8th warmest. Flint 66.6° 5th warmest. Saginaw 65.4° 12th warmest. Alpena 60.2° 18th warmest. Sault Ste Marie 29.4° 17th warmest.  And Marquette 57.4° but there it was just the 63rd warmest on record.

I hope you found some of this information interesting

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55* degrees out at thee YARDofBRICKS .. Beautiful football weather indeed …FALL..INDY ….

Barry in Zeeland
Barry in Zeeland

Good stuff Slim! I’m with you, let’s go for the record snowfall of 1.1”! I have a feeling some would lose their minds if that happened. Ha!


I am working on a new page for the site which features extended info and spaghetti plots from the CPC which many of you may find interesting.

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

There is a lot of information there. Well done, sir.


Our low this morning is 42…
33 storms sounds a little high – that would be 2.75 per month over a 12 month period or 5.5 over the 6 month period when storms are likely to occur – maybe they count every little rumble of thunder as a storm? hmmm –
thanks Slim for the info…