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Average Weather in Traverse City Michigan, United States

In Traverse City, the summers are warm and partly cloudy and the winters are freezing, dry, windy, and mostly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 16°F to 80°F and is rarely below 2°F or above 89°F.

The warm season lasts for 3.6 months, from May 28 to September 17, with an average daily high temperature above 70°F. The hottest day of the year is July 19, with an average high of 80°F and low of 61°F.

The cold season lasts for 3.4 months, from December 1 to March 13, with an average daily high temperature below 39°F. The coldest day of the year is January 29, with an average low of 16°F and high of 28°F.

Average High and Low Temperature

The daily average high (red line) and low (blue line) temperature, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted lines are the corresponding average perceived temperatures.

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

Average Hourly Temperature in Traverse City12 AM4 AM8 AM12 PM4 PM8 PM12 AMJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecfreezingchillycoldcoolcomfortablewarm
The average hourly temperature, color coded into bands: frigid < 15°F < freezing < 32°F < chilly < 45°F < cold < 55°F < cool < 65°F < comfortable < 75°F < warm < 85°F < hot < 95°F < sweltering. The shaded overlays indicate night and civil twilight.

Clouds

In Traverse City, 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 Traverse City begins around April 17 and lasts for 6.7 months, ending around November 7. On August 3, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 68% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 32% of the time.

The cloudier part of the year begins around November 7 and lasts for 5.3 months, ending around April 17. On January 11, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 77% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 23% of the time.

Cloud Cover

Cloud Cover in Traverse Cityclearercloudiercloudier0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecJan 1177%Jan 1177%Aug 332%Aug 332%Apr 1755%Apr 1755%Nov 755%Nov 755%overcastmostly cloudypartly cloudyclear
The percentage of time spent in each cloud cover band, categorized by the percentage of the sky covered by clouds: clear < 20% < mostly clear < 40% < partly cloudy < 60% < mostly cloudy < 80% < overcast.

Precipitation

A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in Traverse City varies throughout the year.

The wetter season lasts 7.8 months, from April 9 to December 3, with a greater than 26% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 35% on September 22.

The drier season lasts 4.2 months, from December 3 to April 9. The smallest chance of a wet day is 16% on February 3.

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 Traverse City changes throughout the year.

Rain alone is the most common for 9.7 months, from February 24 to December 15. The highest chance of a day with rain alone is 35% on September 22.

Snow alone is the most common for 2.3 months, from December 15 to February 24. The highest chance of a day with snow alone is 14% on January 3.

Daily Chance of Precipitation

Daily Chance of Precipitation in Traverse Citysnowrain0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecSep 2235%Sep 2235%Feb 316%Feb 316%Dec 1523%Dec 1523%Apr 926%Apr 926%snowrain
The percentage of days in which various types of precipitation are observed, excluding trace quantities: rain alone, snow alone, and mixed (both rain and snow fell in the same day).

Rainfall

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 of the year. Traverse City experiences significant seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.

The rainy period of the year lasts for 11 months, from February 12 to January 18, with a sliding 31-day rainfall of at least 0.5 inches. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around September 21, with an average total accumulation of 3.2 inches.

The rainless period of the year lasts for 3.6 weeks, from January 18 to February 12. The least rain falls around February 4, with an average total accumulation of 0.5 inches.

Average Monthly Rainfall

Average Monthly Rainfall in Traverse Cityrainrain0 in1 in2 in3 in4 in5 in6 inJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecSep 213.2 inSep 213.2 inFeb 40.5 inFeb 40.5 inJun 122.7 inJun 122.7 in
The average rainfall (solid line) accumulated over the course of a sliding 31-day period centered on the day in question, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted line is the corresponding average liquid-equivalent snowfall.

Snowfall

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 of the year. Traverse City experiences some seasonal variation in monthly liquid-equivalent snowfall.

The snowy period of the year lasts for 5.2 months, from November 8 to April 15, 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 4, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.6 inches.

The snowless period of the year lasts for 6.8 months, from April 15 to November 8. The least snow falls around July 26, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.0 inches.

Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall

Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall in Traverse Citysnowsnow0.0 in0.5 in1.0 in1.5 in2.0 in2.5 in3.0 in3.5 inJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecJan 40.6 inJan 40.6 inJul 260.0 inJul 260.0 inNov 80.1 inNov 80.1 inApr 150.1 inApr 150.1 in
The average liquid-equivalent snowfall (solid line) accumulated over the course of a sliding 31-day period centered on the day in question, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted line is the corresponding average rainfall.

Sun

The length of the day in Traverse City varies significantly over the course of the year. In 2017, the shortest day is December 21, with 8 hours, 48 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 21, with 15 hours, 35 minutes of daylight.

Hours of Daylight and Twilight

The number of hours during which the Sun is visible (black line). From bottom (most yellow) to top (most gray), the color bands indicate: full daylight, twilight (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and full night.

The earliest sunrise is at 5:56 AM on June 15, and the latest sunrise is 2 hours, 29 minutes later at 8:24 AM on November 4. The earliest sunset is at 5:01 PM on December 9, and the latest sunset is 4 hours, 31 minutes later at 9:32 PM on June 26.

Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in Traverse City during 2017, starting in the spring on March 12, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 5.

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time in Traverse City2 AM4 AM6 AM8 AM10 AM12 PM2 PM4 PM6 PM8 PM10 PM12 AMJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecJun 155:56 AMJun 155:56 AM9:32 PMJun 269:32 PMJun 26Dec 95:01 PMDec 95:01 PM8:24 AMNov 48:24 AMNov 4Mar 12DSTMar 12DSTDSTNov 5DSTNov 5daynightnightnightnight
The solar day over the course of the year 2017. From bottom to top, the black lines are the previous solar midnight, sunrise, solar noon, sunset, and the next solar midnight. The day, twilights (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and night are indicated by the color bands from yellow to gray. The transitions to and from daylight saving time are indicated by the 'DST' labels.

Humidity

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.

Traverse City experiences some seasonal variation in the perceived humidity.

The muggier period of the year lasts for 3.2 months, from June 12 to September 17, during which time the comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable at least 6% of the time. The muggiest day of the year is July 30, with muggy conditions 22% of the time.

The least muggy day of the year is February 26, when muggy conditions are essentially unheard of.

Humidity Comfort Levels

Humidity Comfort Levels in Traverse Citymuggy0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecFeb 260%Feb 260%Jul 3022%Jul 3022%Jun 126%Jun 126%Sep 176%Sep 176%oppressiveoppressivemuggymuggyhumidhumidcomfortablecomfortabledrydry
The percentage of time spent at various humidity comfort levels, categorized by dew point: dry < 55°F < comfortable < 60°F < humid < 65°F < muggy < 70°F < oppressive < 75°F < miserable.

Wind

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 Traverse City experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The windier part of the year lasts for 7.0 months, from September 23 to April 24, with average wind speeds of more than 6.4 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is January 4, with an average hourly wind speed of 7.9 miles per hour.

The calmer time of year lasts for 5.0 months, from April 24 to September 23. The calmest day of the year is July 22, with an average hourly wind speed of 4.9 miles per hour.

Average Wind Speed

Average Wind Speed in Traverse Citywindywindy0 mph1 mph2 mph3 mph4 mph5 mph6 mph7 mph8 mph9 mph10 mph11 mph12 mphJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecJan 47.9 mphJan 47.9 mphJul 224.9 mphJul 224.9 mphSep 236.4 mphSep 236.4 mphApr 246.4 mphApr 246.4 mph
The average of mean hourly wind speeds (dark gray line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

The predominant average hourly wind direction in Traverse City varies throughout the year.

The wind is most often from the north for 2.8 months, from February 18 to May 11, with a peak percentage of 35% on March 8. The wind is most often from the south for 1.6 months, from May 11 to June 30 and for 3.0 months, from August 16 to November 16, with a peak percentage of 36% on September 16. The wind is most often from the west for 1.5 months, from June 30 to August 16 and for 3.1 months, from November 16 to February 18, with a peak percentage of 35% on July 19.

Wind Direction

Wind Direction in Traverse CityWNSWSW0%20%40%60%80%100%JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecwestsoutheastnorth
The percentage of hours in which the mean wind direction is from each of the four cardinal wind directions (north, east, south, and west), excluding hours in which the mean wind speed is less than 1 mph. The lightly tinted areas at the boundaries are the percentage of hours spent in the implied intermediate directions (northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest).

Water Temperature

Traverse City 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 2.5 months, from July 12 to September 26, with an average temperature above 61°F. The day of the year with the warmest water is August 14, with an average temperature of 68°F.

The time of year with cooler water lasts for 5.1 months, from December 18 to May 22, with an average temperature below 41°F. The day of the year with the coolest water is March 8, with an average temperature of 35°F.

Average Water Temperature

The daily average water temperature (purple line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Solar Energy

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 extreme seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The brighter period of the year lasts for 3.5 months, from May 5 to August 20, 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 3.6 months, from October 29 to February 16, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 2.4 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 23, with an average of 1.1 kWh.

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in Traverse Citybrightdarkdark0 kWh1 kWh2 kWh3 kWh4 kWh5 kWh6 kWh7 kWh8 kWh9 kWhJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecJul 17.1 kWhJul 17.1 kWhDec 231.1 kWhDec 231.1 kWhMay 55.9 kWhMay 55.9 kWhAug 205.9 kWhAug 205.9 kWhOct 292.4 kWhOct 292.4 kWhFeb 162.4 kWhFeb 162.4 kWh
The average daily shortwave solar energy reaching the ground per square meter (orange line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Topography

For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Traverse City are 44.763 deg latitude, -85.621 deg longitude, and 614 ft elevation.

The topography within 2 miles of Traverse City contains only modest variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 351 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 614 feet. Within 10 miles contains only modest variations in elevation (620 feet). Within 50 miles contains significant variations in elevation (1,234 feet).

The area within 2 miles of Traverse City is covered by artificial surfaces (52%) and water (38%), within 10 miles by trees (32%) and water (27%), and within 50 miles by trees (42%) and water (38%).

Data Sources

This report illustrates the typical weather in Traverse City, 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 2 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Traverse City.

For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Traverse City 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 Traverse City is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Traverse City and a given station.

The stations contributing to this reconstruction are: Cherry Capital Airport (98%, 3.9 kilometers, southeast) and Frankfort City-Benzie County Airport (2.2%, 48 kilometers, west).

Other Data

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 .

Maps are © Esri, with data from National Geographic, Esri, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, and iPC.