Bill’s Blog: October has been cloudier, wetter, warmer than usual


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — So far, October has been cloudier than average, wetter than average (at least in Grand Rapids) and unseasonably warm.

Over the last two weeks, we’ve had just 24% of possible sunshine. Average sunshine for October is 39%. The only day with over 68% sun was Oct. 1 at 98% sunshine. We’re going to brighten up West Michigan with three straight mostly sunny days for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Rainfall for the month has totaled 3.48 inches in Grand Rapids and that’s 1.41 inches above average. We’ve had measurable rain on 11 of the last 15 days. We’ll be dry from Sunday through at least Wednesday morning. Farmers like to have three dry days in a row when they cut hay and we’ll have that the early part of this week.

This has been a record warm start to October, at 11 degrees warmer than average for Grand Rapids. Saturday was the first day that has been cooler than average since Sept. 25.

I still don’t see any general frost during the week ahead. The average date of the first freeze in Grand Rapids is Oct. 8. The average date of the last 70-degree day of the year is Oct. 23. The earliest 32 degrees in G.R. was Sept. 3, 1946.

Climate Data from the National Weather Service

Here’s some climate information from the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids. I think we’ll be a little closer to average during the secnd half of October, but still warmer than average.

8-14 Day Temperature Forecast from the Climate Prediction Center

The latest 8-14-day temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center has above-average temperatures for much of the U.S., including the Great Lakes. This runs from Oct. 24 to Oct. 30.

Water Temperatures

Here’s the latest Great Lakes water temperatures. These are from buoys.

Mid-60s are the warmest water temperatures we’ve ever seen on Oct. 17. If the Great Lakes are still unseasonably (relatively) warm when the really cold air gets here, that could increase the potential for lake-effect snow. However, the lakes often cool back down closer to average temperatures before the air gets cold enough for lake-effect snow.

We’ll continue to track both Lake Michigan water temperatures and the location of the Arctic air (which now is pretty much still up in the Arctic).

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