Don’t count summer out yet!

Posted at 5:11 PM, Sep 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-04 17:11:56-04

WEST MICHIGAN — With the last few days feeling a bit like fall, and more of that type of weather over the next few days, some might feel that summer is down for the count and over. I say…not necessarily so fast. You’ll recall that just two years ago in 2017 during ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, we had some of our hottest days of the season in mid September. From the 21st through the 26th we recorded temperatures well into the 90s!

The next several days will feature temperatures below normal and some really cool morning lows. Keep in mind, inland lakes tend to cool off quickly in this type of weather with cold morning lows. That said, Lake Michigan does not give up it’s high specific capacity for heat so easily. It will take longer for that to cool off.

There are a group of climatologists at the NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC) that focus strictly on longer term forecasts…more than just a few days. My basis for writing this article is their expertise, research, and forecasts. The image below shows their temperature outlook across the lower 48 states from September 10 – 14. There is a 60 percent chance of above normal temperatures for southern lower Michigan during that time frame. Average highs have us in the low/mid 70s, so we may be looking at highs in the low/mid 80s.

The next graphic below shows us the probability of precipitation during that same time frame. We have about a 40 to 50 percent chance of above normal rainfall.

If we look even farther out, the image below shows us the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook valid for September 12 – 18. It too, has a 50 percent chance of above normal temperatures for central and southern lower Michigan. These aren’t full-proof methods for seeing temperatures in the 80s, but they offer a fair assessment of what may occur on those dates.

The image below for the same time frame shows only a 30 to 40 percent chance of above normal rainfall.

We’re losing daylight fairly quickly (these days) by about two to three minutes each and everyday. Without the strong, extended solar insolation of the sun, the shorter days, and the lower sun angle, it’s easy to see why we’re slowly cooler off. Normal high temperatures September first in Grand Rapids are at 78 degrees. By September 30, that drops to 67!

In conclusion, the next week or so will feature some low temperatures in the 40s and 50s, with highs only in the 60s and 70s. But we expect a resurgence of some warmer weather from around September 10 – 20 or so. Make sure to get the complete West Michigan forecast at