Calm, Clear Night Brings Cool Temperatures


The nights are getting longer as we head into the last week of August. Today (Fri.) Grand Rapids MI gets 13 hours 35 minutes and 32 seconds of daylight (between sunrise and sunset). That’s a loss of 1 hours and 46 minutes of daylight since the Summer Solstice back on June 21. Tomorrow daylight will be 2 minutes and 42 seconds less than today. We’ll lose 19 minutes and 10 seconds just in the next week…around an hour in the next 3 weeks.

With the longer nights, temperatures have a little more time to cool at night and this is most pronounced on calm, clear nights with dry air. Look at some low temps. from last night: 55° Holland, 54° Muskegon, 52° Grand Rapids, Marshall and South Haven, 51° Kalamazoo Battle Creek and Ionia, 49° Hillsdale, Hastings and Kent City, 48° Lansing, Charlotte, Ludington, and Mt. Pleasant, 47° Fremont, 46° Big Rapids, 43° Cheboygan, 42° Cadillac, 41° Evart, Kalkaska, Marquette, 40° Houghton Lake, Baldwin and Pellston, 37° Vanderbilt, 35° Ironwood, Doe Lake, 34° Leota (Clare Co.), Atlanta, Stambaugh, Champion, 33° Roscommon (coolest spot in Lower MI) and Wakefield and 32° at Baraga Plains.

Cool air sinks (hot air rises, like in a hot air balloon) on a calm clear night. Temperatures are taken at the 5-foot level, so it’s likely that the ground temperatures will a touch cooler than these 5-foot readings and there could have been some scattered frost at some of the places with the coolest readings last night.

Note: When you look at the climate record – you have to consider the siting or placement of the weather station. Thermometers that are out in rural areas will, in general, be cooler on a calm, clear night than thermometers in urban areas and at airports where there are planes and vehicles that stir the air. Thermometers in valleys where cool air can sink to will be cooler than hilltops. That’s why orchards are planted on high or hilly ground, like “The Ridge” (Peach Ridge, Fruit Ridge) in Kent County.

The picturesabove was taken by me about a week ago – the apples this year are looking awesome. We’re going to see a sweet, juicy and crisp crop this fall.

The weather looks awesome for this weekend…mostly sunny and pleasant. We’ve got the Polish Festival at Rosa Park Circle in downtown G.R. this weekend, the 28th St. Metro Cruise (“hi Marge!”), Balloon Fest in Kalamazoo and the Hudsonville Fair (Williams Family concert free with fair admission tonight at 7 pm). Enjoy.

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