Is Grand Rapids getting warmer?  Rain and Storms Today

Is Grand Rapids getting warmer? Rain and Storms Today



Here in Grand Rapids from 1896 to 2016  annual mean temperature is 48.2°. Over the years there have been only 11(so far) years where the years mean temperature was 50° or better. Here is a list of the eleven years that the mean has been 50° or better. The years are also the 11 warmest year in Grand Rapids history.
1. 2012 52.8°
2. 2016 52.2°
3. 1931 52.2°
4. 1921 52.2°
5. 1998 51.5°
6. 1938 50.9°
7. 1894 50.9°
8. 1939 50.5°
9. 2007 50.2°
10. 2006 50.2°
11. 1922 50.0°
There have been no other year with an annual mean of 50° or better. Of special interest is that 4 of the warmest years have occurred since 2000. And while the long term mean in GR is 40.1° in the years since 2000 the annual mean here is 49.2° And ever one of the 12 months is warmer since the year 2000 than the long term average so there is a case to be made that Grand Rapids appears to becoming warmer. If this trend continues we will have to see. On a side note the total seasonal snow fall has increased over the years while the 30 year average is around 73” and the average since 1903/04 (when the better records started being kept) is 66.7” but since 2000 the average is up to 81.4”

While the long term mean here in Grand Rapids is 48.2° Over the last 17 years that mean has been 49.2° So over the last 17 years GR has been warmer that in the past. And since September 2015 Grand Rapids (and much of the Great Lakes and mid-west area) have seen many months that have been above the long-term average. Here at Grand Rapids Going back to that September in 2015 there have only been 4 months of below average temperatures and of the above average months some have been well above average such as December 2015 (+9.9°) February 2017 (+7.9°) November 2015 (+5.4°) September 2015 (+44°)

On the flip side here are some years that have been much colder than average (48.1°)

  1. 1917  44.6°
  2. 1912   45.2°
  3. 1978   45.6°
  4. 1969   45.8°
  5. 1989   45.9°
  6. 1976    45.9°
  7. 1907    46.0°
  8. 1924     46.0°
  9. 1950     46.1°
  10. 1912     46.1°

Honorable mention 1926  46.4°, 1996 46.3°, 2014 46.5° over the years here in Grand Rapids the annual mean temperature has ranged from 44.6° up to 52.8° I will leave it up to you to decide if Grand Rapids is getting warmer or not but in the last 17 years that seems to have been the case if it continues that is to be seen and will play out in the years ahead.

Also of interest.

This past week Grand Rapids recorded 4 days in a row of 90° days or better. The last time this happened in June was in June of 1994.  That string was very similar to this years string, This year GR started out with a high of 89 on the 10th and then had highs of 91, 93, 91, and 91. In 1994 GR had a high of 89 on the 14th and then highs of 92,94,95, and 96. It should be noted that the rest of the summer of 1994 was cooler than average with August coming in at a very cool mean of 66.6° (-4.2°) so just because its warm now does not mean it will stay warm all summer.

The first half of June 2017 has been very warm and dry. With Grand Rapids only recording 0.50” of rain (only 0.37” at my house) and the mean temperature is at 71.1° (+4.9°) the warmest reading so far this month is 93°.  Over at Lansing they have only recorded 0.23” of ran and the mean over there is 72.0° (+6.6) and in Muskegon they have recorded 0.59” of rain and their mean is at 69.0° (+5.0) at this time the second half of June looks to be cooler and wetter. Its now time to see how the CPC’s guess for July will play out. Here is their guess

and their guess for the rest of the summer of 2017

Of course as always subject to change as for some reason Mother Nature don’t always follow the CPC’s script (she can not read)


Great post Slim (our master of historical weather), a lot went into this post and we appreciate all of your effort in our Saturday posts.  For those of you who don’t understand what the mean temperature is, simply put it is the high and low temperature added together and divided by two.  If we have a high today of 82 and a low of 62 our mean temperature would be 72.  The temperatures for computing the whole year are taking the high and low temperatures for all 365 days and divide them by two.

Moving on to the weather the SPC forecast for storms tonight remains unchanged from yesterday, we are in the slight risk area with the enhanced risk to our south west.  We received another .46 of rain here in Otsego overnight which brings our total to 2.46 inches for the month.

Several rounds of thunderstorms will likely impact the region today with a risk for severe weather mainly closer to the MI/IN border tonight. Some gusty winds and hail will be possible. Conditions dry out Sunday afternoon before some scattered showers and perhaps some thunderstorms develop Monday.  So, most if not all of the area should see some much needed rain today and tonight.


Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids

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Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids


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Dew point - Lift Index
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Wind Gusts


Updated 3:30pm

Forecast concerns deal with convective trends tonight and Sunday. Mesoanalysis shows much of the convective inhibition has eroded. We`re sitting on 1500-2000j/kg SBCAPE and Li`s near -3c. A ribbon of higher PWATs exists from Saginaw Bay to Grand Haven…in the area of the current showers and thunderstorms.

We`ll likely see an uptick in convective activity this afternoon and tonight, especially if we can increase heating as clouds thin from the south. Low pressure moves northeast toward the cwa and drags a cold front with it. We could see quite a bit of rain again across the central cwa. Additionally, shear values near 40kts could result in strong to perhaps severe storms, especially over the southeast cwa ahead of the low.

These showers and storms will linger into Sunday until the cold front moves through. Cooler and drier air will flow over the cwa Monday and monday night with dewpoints falling back into the lower 50s. .


Models have been consistent showing a decent shortwave in the northwest flow aloft passing through the state on Tuesday. H5 temps associated with this feature are progged to be near -20C, which supports the possibility of some hail with any stronger storms at peak heating.

Consistency also still exists for a dry day on Wednesday with a brief period of surface ridging. However a returning warm front from the southwest will bring back the threat of showers and tstms Wednesday night into Thursday. Details become sketchy toward the end of the week as GFS/ECMWF differ on handling of system moving across srn Canada. This system eventually sends a cold front through the region, but timing and strength of that front is unclear at this time. The ECMWF looks much cooler than the GFS next for Saturday.



14 on "Is Grand Rapids getting warmer? Rain and Storms Today"

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Here is the new SPC outlook just released

Sherry York

2.02 inches of rain this morning. Much needed and my rain barrels once dry are now full!!

Barry in Zeeland
Excellent write up Slim! I think it’s getting warmer, but that’s probably because every year older I get it seems I can handle less and less of the heat, thereby it seems to be getting hotter every year. Of course the past several Winters have been pretty feeble also, amounting… Read more »
Gun Lake Deb
I received .96″ of rain last night – yay! Regarding temperature increases: as a long-time GR resident, I’ve watched the areas around the airport (where the official temps are recorded) get built up/paved over, etc. Part of me wonders how much of this increase in temperature, is simply due to… Read more »

Updated Futurecast and Forecast Discussion.

Mark (East Lansing)

Well we finally got some rain. Just ended. Way too much, way too quickly. Rained moderately to very hard for about an hour. Many intersections flooded and even part of I-496. Looks like more coming across the lake.

Jack Edwards

Just a Tune I Remembered In My musical MEMORY…
& Cue—> Aztec Two Step – The Persecution and Restoration of Dean Moriarty On the Road – YouTube
▶ 4:17

ROCKY (Rockford)

Let summer begin and the temperatures fall! I absolutely love it! Heat wave, what heat wave? Rock n Roll will never die baby!