Average Weather in Grand Rapids Michigan, United States
In Grand Rapids, the temperature typically varies from 18°F to 83°F over the course of the year, and is rarely below 3°F or above 90°F.
The warm season lasts for 119 days, from May 22 to September 18, with an average daily high temperature above 72°F. The hottest day of the year is July 19, with an average high of 83°F and low of 63°F.
The cold season lasts for 100 days, from November 30 to March 10, with an average daily high temperature below 41°F. The coldest day of the year is January 29, with an average low of 18°F and high of 30°F.
Average High and Low Temperature
The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.
Average Hourly Temperature
The length of the day in Grand Rapids varies significantly over the course of the year. In 2017, the shortest day is December 21, with 9 hours, 0 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 21, with 15 hours, 22 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight
The earliest sunrise is at 6:03 AM on June 15, and the latest sunrise is 2 hours, 18 minutes later at 8:21 AM on November 4. The earliest sunset is at 5:08 PM on December 8, and the latest sunset is 4 hours, 18 minutes later at 9:25 PM on June 26.
Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in Grand Rapids during 2017, starting in the spring on March 12, lasting 237 days, and ending in the fall on November 5.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time
In Grand Rapids, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The clearer part of the year in Grand Rapids begins around May 16 and lasts for 173 days, ending around November 5. On August 7, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 67% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 33% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around November 5 and lasts for 192 days, ending around May 16. On January 7, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 69% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 31% of the time.
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in Grand Rapids varies throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 255 days, from March 30 to December 10, with a greater than 25% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 33% on May 24.
The drier season lasts 110 days, from December 10 to March 30. The smallest chance of a wet day is 17% on February 8.
Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation in Grand Rapids changes throughout the year.
Rain alone is the most common for 307 days, from February 17 to December 21. The highest chance of a day with rain alone is 33% on May 24.
Snow alone is the most common for 58 days, from December 21 to February 17. The highest chance of a day with snow alone is 12% on January 14.
Daily Chance of Precipitation
To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day in the year. Grand Rapids experiences significant seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
Rain falls throughout the year in Grand Rapids. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around September 23, with an average total accumulation of 3.3 inches.
The least rain falls around January 27, with and average total accumulation of 0.7 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall
We report snowfall in liquid-equivalent terms. The actual depth of new snowfall is typically between 5 and 10 times the liquid-equivalent amount, assuming the ground is frozen. Colder, drier snow tends to be on the higher end of that range and warmer, wetter snow on the lower end.
As with rainfall, we consider the snowfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day in the year. Grand Rapids experiences some seasonal variation in monthly liquid-equivalent snowfall.
The snowy period of the year lasts for 150 days, from November 8 to April 7, with a sliding 31-day liquid-equivalent snowfall of at least 0.1 inches. The most snow falls during the 31 days centered around January 8, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.7 inches.
The snowless period of the year lasts for 215 days, from April 7 to November 8. The least snow falls around July 21, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.0 inches.
Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall
We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.
Grand Rapids experiences significant seasonal variation in the perceived humidity.
The muggier period of the year lasts for 111 days, from May 31 to September 19, during which time the comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable at least 9% of the time. The muggiest day of the year is July 28, with muggy conditions 36% of the time.
The least muggy day of the year is December 9, when muggy conditions are essentially unheard of.
Humidity Comfort Levels
This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.
The average hourly wind speed in Grand Rapids experiences mildly seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The windier part of the year lasts for 225 days, from October 2 to May 15, with average wind speeds of more than 5.5 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is January 12, with an average hourly wind speed of 6.8 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 140 days, from May 15 to October 2. The calmest day of the year is August 3, with an average hourly wind speed of 4.2 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed
The predominant average hourly wind direction in Grand Rapids varies throughout the year.
The wind is most often from the south for 33 days, from August 31 to October 3, with a peak percentage of 34% on November 14. The wind is most often from the west for 332 days, from October 3 to August 31, with a peak percentage of 42% on December 14.
Grand Rapids is located near a large body of water (e.g., ocean, sea, or large lake). This section reports on the wide-area average surface temperature of that water.
The average water temperature experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The time of year with warmer water lasts for 83 days, from July 5 to September 26, with an average temperature above 63°F. The day of the year with the warmest water is August 13, with an average temperature of 71°F.
The time of year with cooler water lasts for 150 days, from December 17 to May 16, with an average temperature below 43°F. The day of the year with the coolest water is March 5, with an average temperature of 35°F.
Average Water Temperature
This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.
The average daily incident shortwave solar energy experiences very significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The brighter period of the year lasts for 106 days, from May 4 to August 18, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 5.9 kWh. The brightest day of the year is July 1, with an average of 7.1 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 106 days, from November 1 to February 15, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 2.5 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 23, with an average of 1.3 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Grand Rapids are 42.963 deg latitude, -85.668 deg longitude, and 686 ft elevation (map ).
The topography within 2 miles of Grand Rapids contains only modest variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 197 feet, and an average elevation above sea level of 666 feet. Within 10 miles also contains only modest variations in elevation (318 feet). Within 50 miles contains significant variations in elevation (787 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Grand Rapids is covered by artificial surfaces (100%), within 10 miles by artificial surfaces (61%) and cropland (21%), and within 50 miles by cropland (44%) and trees (31%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Grand Rapids, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.
Temperature and Dew Point
There are 4 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Grand Rapids.
For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Grand Rapids according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.
The estimated value at Grand Rapids is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Grand Rapids and a given station.
The stations contributing to this reconstruction are: Gerald R. Ford International Airport (67%, 15 kilometers, southeast), West Michigan Regional Airport (14%, 43 kilometers, southwest), Muskegon County Airport (11%, 52 kilometers, northwest), and Fremont Municipal Airport (9%, 59 kilometers, northwest).
All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Tables of the Sun, Moon and Planets , by Jean Meeus.
All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.
Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .
Time zones for aiports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .