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.
Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Traverse City for warm-weather activities is from late June to early September.
The warm season lasts for 3.6 months, from May 29 to September 16, 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 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
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 18 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 18. 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 Categories
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 4, 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 4 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
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 3.5 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
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 5.3 months, from November 7 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 6.7 months, from April 15 to November 7. The least snow falls around July 26, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.0 inches.
Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall
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 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
Traverse City experiences some seasonal variation in the perceived humidity.
The muggier period of the year lasts for 3.2 months, from June 11 to September 18, 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
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 24 to April 24, with average wind speeds of more than 11.8 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is January 4, with an average hourly wind speed of 14.6 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 5.0 months, from April 24 to September 24. The calmest day of the year is July 22, with an average hourly wind speed of 9.0 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed
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 15, 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 15 to February 18, with a peak percentage of 35% on July 19.
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 2.4 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 19 to May 21, 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
Best Time of Year to Visit
To characterize how pleasant the weather is in Traverse City throughout the year, we compute two travel scores.
The tourism score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 65°F and 80°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Traverse City for general outdoor tourist activities is from late June to early September, with a peak score in the first week of August.
The beach/pool score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 75°F and 90°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Traverse City for hot-weather activities is from early July to mid August, with a peak score in the last week of July.
For each hour between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM of each day in the analysis period (1980 to 2016), independent scores are computed for perceived temperature, cloud cover, and total precipitation. Those scores are combined into a single hourly composite score, which is then aggregated into days, averaged over all the years in the analysis period, and smoothed.
Our cloud cover score is 10 for fully clear skies, falling linearly to 9 for mostly clear skies, and to 1 for fully overcast skies.
Our precipitation score, which is based on the three-hour precipitation centered on the hour in question, is 10 for no precipitation, falling linearly to 9 for trace precipitation, and to 0 for 0.04 inches of precipitation or more.
Our tourism temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 50°F, rising linearly to 9 for 65°F, to 10 for 75°F, falling linearly to 9 for 80°F, and to 1 for 90°F or hotter.
Our beach/pool temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 65°F, rising linearly to 9 for 75°F, to 10 for 82°F, falling linearly to 9 for 90°F, and to 1 for 100°F or hotter.
The growing season in Traverse City typically lasts for 5.0 months (152 days), from around May 14 to around October 13, rarely starting before April 27 or after May 31, and rarely ending before September 24 or after November 3.
Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season
Based on growing degree days alone, the first spring blooms in Traverse City should appear around May 1, only rarely appearing before April 17 or after May 15.
Growing Degree Days
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 30 to February 15, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 2.3 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 23, with an average of 1.1 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy
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%).
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.
Time zones for aiports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .