How this Memorial Day weekend stacks up against previous ones

Posted at 9:04 PM, May 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-25 21:10:42-04

WEST MICHIGAN — As a scientist I always want to quantify something. Put it into perspective. Rank it. Rate it. See how it stack ups. Because our temperatures this weekend are expected to be about 10 to 15 degrees above normal, let’s see how it stacks up against prior Memorial Days in the big scheme of things.

For starters, the warmest Memorial Day occurred May 30, 1919 at 92 degrees. The coldest was in 1910 at a very chilly 48 on May 30. The wettest was far more recent in 1984 with 1.82″ of rain falling May 28. The numbers are for Grand Rapids.

I decided to look at more recent Memorial Days for comparison purposes. Here’s what I found. Last year, May 29, 2017 we had 75 degrees with mostly sunny skies. May 30, 2016 we had 83 degrees with mostly sunny skies. May 25, 2015 was 77 with mostly cloudy skies and .25″ of rain. May 26, 2014 brought us 84 degrees with partly cloudy skies. And May 27, 2013 Grand Rapids recorded .16″ of rain and cool temperatures of only 60 degrees.

So putting this weekend, this year into perspective, we’re quite lucky. Way above normal in temperatures and perfect for picnics, outdoor fun, and especially water sports. That said, be careful. Lake Michigan water temperatures are only in the 50s. Keep in mind that we are forecasting 90 this year for Memorial Day. That’s within two degrees of our all-time high temperature on Memorial Day. It’s possible we may exceed or tie it. Wow! Fingers crossed. Look for increased humidity with the hotter temperatures too.

All stats courtesy of the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids. Get the complete West Michigan forecast at