GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Welcome to September! While fall officially arrives at 9:03 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22 this month unofficially rings in the new season.

September is one of the months where daylight fades the fastest here in West Michigan. It also is the month that many apples are ripe for the season, and leaves begin changing in the Upper Peninsula.


Shrinking daylight means cooler days and chillier nights. Occasionally lows can dip into the 30s, but we are still a long way from our first statistical frost. Day length at the beginning of September is a full 13 hours and 10 minutes long.

By the end of the month day length is only 11 hours and 47 minutes long.


High temperatures fall from highs in the upper 70s to highs in the upper 60s by Sept. 30. High temperatures in the 90s are not impossible, but they are unlikely. Most years we see our last 90 degree weather around Aug. 23.

Our last 80 degree weather typically occurs around Sept. 30. Lake Michigan also undergoes its annual decline in temperatures. Surface temperatures usually drop from the low 70s to the mid-60s over the month of September.


West Michigan sits in the lee of Lake Michigan, which can lead to a massive amount of cloud cover as the weather turns colder. September is a transitory month from warm summer temperatures to the cool conditions of fall. Sunshine is still quite dominate for September, but begins to fade considerably in October and November.


Current outlooks show that September may begin a little warmer and drier than average, but by the end of the month we expect a slide into more typical conditions if not cooler than average.

The desert southwest is expected to be quite warm for the month. Drier than normal conditions are expected across the plains states.

Hurricane activity in the Atlantic through August has been one of the quietest in 25 years. Storms have already begun to activate in the Atlantic basin over the final days of August and are expecting to launch a more active pattern for the month of September.