Lake Michigan sizzles!

August 4th, 2010 at 11:01 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

The water temperature at the buoy in the middle of Lake Michigan (40 miles west of Holland) reached 80° last Sunday afternoon.  That’s only one degree from the all-time record mid-lake buoy temperature of 81° set on August 18, 1995.  We have 30 years of water temperature records from the buoy.  Not only has this been a warm summer, but relatively light winds over the past week have allowed the surface water to warm in the strong, summer sunshine.  With warmer than average temperatures expected for the next couple weeks, it’s possible we could set an all-time record yet this month.  All of the Great Lakes are unusually warm, with Lake Superior water temperatures in the mid 60s.  The coldest surface water in Lake Michigan is at the south end of the lake.  That’s because the prevailing south wind causes upwelling of colder water there.  That’s why you don’t see a lot of people swimming on the beaches of Indiana.  They come north to Michigan where the water is warmer.  The warm water of the lake could mean a good shot of lake-effect snow when the Arctic air finally arrives in late autumn.  The beach water temperatures on Wednesday were 80 at Muskegon St. Park and 79 at Grand Haven.

75 Responses to “Lake Michigan sizzles!”

  1. Herb (SE Muskegon) says:

    We are gonna get walloped by lake effect.

    1. Matt (Norton Shores) says:

      Hi Herb,

      What’s the best Lake Effect snowfall you’ve seen in the Muskegon area? Being new to the area, I assume that some winters Muskegon can really get hit with Lake effect, especially if the winds are from the southwest.

      1. Herb (SE Muskegon) says:

        I think the biggest snowstorm I can remember when I was young being somewhere in the 80′s we had a storm that snow was up over my waste. Couple winter’s ago we had like two blizzards in a roll and the snowbanks were quite high. The blizzard of 78 I don’t remember but January 25-29, 1978 Muskegon 52.0 inches of snow. My dad said grandpa said the snow at times long ago would reach up to the wires, I assume the poles were shorter then.

      2. fixxxer says:

        are all of you on here winter nuts or what? lets keep the snow talk to a minimum until late october…ok!

        1. Matt (Norton Shores) says:

          Yup, I’m nuts! Lake effect snow was one of the biggest benefits of moving to West Michigan.

          I look forward to talking about it more and more!

        2. fixxxer says:

          you need to talk to a doctor is what you need! let me guess…your a snow plower!

        3. Andy says:

          Big Heavy Snows are the best. So much easier to track your deer through a foot of snow than it is to try and track it through wet leaves. Plus, it allows for more places to do donuts.

        4. Allegan Joe says:

          There’s surely those who like he Ice Cold Air and Tons of Snow and Treacherous Driving Conditions along with White-Outs and Blizzards!! :( I could do without Winter!! Must be snow thing for them…

    2. fixxxer says:

      i don’t think we will to be honest.

  2. Herb (SE Muskegon) says:

    Forgot to mention it was a couple years ago the water was 70 in like late September early October. I thought it was great I could swim in Lake Michigan that late.

    1. roxywp (North Holland) says:

      I remember that day, Herb. It was October 5th-8th, I believe. Had my dog at the beach and both of us were swimming in 70 degree water. Best Indian Summer ever.

    2. Scott (Hartford Van Buren Co.) says:

      How can you do that, according to Fixxer the beaches close on Labor Day. :)

      1. fixxxer says:

        no lifegaurd = unsafe swimming. no one is there to protect you if you drown, technically they close after labor day. look it up!

        1. Andy says:

          Yes, look it up. And when you do, look up the meaning behind a red flag day on the beach. Technically the beach is closed to swimmers on those days too, but when has that ever prevented people from drowning?

        2. michael g (SE GR) says:

          There are never any lifeguards at most beaches in West Michigan. Ever been to any of them?

    3. RUSS IN GR says:

      On October 8,2007 my girlfriend and I went swimming at Pere Marquette beach. It was a Sunday – we went there after church, originally just to walk on the beach. To me it felt like bathwater.

  3. Sean says:

    I just want to see heavy ass snow this winter, love it!!

    1. fixxxer says:

      good for you! do you want all of my snow too while your at it? NUTS!!!

      1. Beth says:

        Yeeeeeeehaw!!! Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!!!! ;-)

  4. Mike (Mattawan) says:

    I want to see a few good snow storms this winter. One before Thanksgiving/ on thanksgiving (i like it when we have a white thanksgiving), one Christmas eve so that we have a white christmas, then one big one somewhere towards the end of January. After that, I would be SICK of winter and the weather can feel free to get warmer. I dont want storm after storm even though that is interesting.

  5. Marti B. (Grandville area) says:

    Why do the storms ALWAYS go south? :(

    As for warmer lakes, I’m all for it! This weekend is our annual church family camping trip and I look forward to living in the lake most of the weekend! Long Lake near Yankee Springs.

    1. Linda (west of K-zoo) says:

      Why do storms always so south? I don’t know but I’ll be HAPPY to send them up your way!! :) I would like snow once or twice, other than that, the snow can stay away!

      1. fixxxer says:

        how about no snow? sounds GREAT to me!

    2. RUSS IN GR says:

      Marti – Please see my comment in the Weds. Live Weather Thread. I have an hypothesis as to why the storms always go south.

      1. fixxxer says:

        i do too russ, it’s the west michigan bubble. i wish it would be in effect in the winter so south of me can have all of the snow too!

        1. RUSS IN GR says:

          Fixxxer, I know what you mean about “bubble”. My boss used to say it was God cupping his hand over our area to protect it from nature’s wrath. Maybe he thought GR was a bed of righteousness!? At least, I think that’s what he believed.

        2. Kilgore(Rockford) says:

          We always call it Dutch Moses

  6. slim Jim(NW GR) says:

    The Great Lakes are warmer then average this year, but its only at the surface. At the bottom of the lakes its still only 39° so later when the winds pick up that will bring the cold water up to the surface and the water water temps will drop. While its way too soon to even think of the effects the lakes this winter. One thing that “may” happen is that there could be some good lake effect rain/thunderstorms with water spouts when the first few cold spells arrive in lat August to mid October.
    Yesterday was a very humid day around here and last night when the DP fell it felt cool.

  7. Laker says:

    Dewpoint is 70 right now here in GR — not much of a cold front.

    1. fixxxer says:

      it’s coming… tomorrow is suppose to only be in the mid 70′s for highs…yuck!

      1. Laker says:

        Fixxxer, get a clue. It’s “only” supposed to be average for this time of year. Look at next week. Trust me Fixxxer, I love hot/humid weather too but get real, it’s still warm.

        1. fixxxer says:

          if were 80+ in september ill say were hot for that time of year.

        2. Irish coffee says:

          **** “ONLY..mid-70′s” lol; GRR hit 81!!!!

  8. weather watcher Oceana/Newaygo says:

    Snow?? I have to agree with are all welcome to any snow that will fall my way. I am enjoying this beautiful stretch of weather we are having..and can’t wrap my head around the fact that Fall is just around the corner.

    1. fixxxer says:

      i guess i never knew how many winter nuts were on this blog. im sure most of them are snow plowers and need to make $$.

  9. Steve (Kalamazoo Township) says:

    It’s all about perception. There are plenty of people who consider Fall and Winter in West Michigan beautiful and I’m one of them. I’ve had enough of the high temperatures, humidity, and severe storms we’ve had this Summer. And yes, we’ve had more than enough to make up for last year.

    I cannot wait for the cool, crisp days ahead. Summer is slowly coming to an end. Yes, it’s getting darker sooner, the sun’s angle is changing, and soon the leaves will be full of color. After that, the low clouds, rain, and gusty days of November. Then, three months straight of cold and snow. It’s the best time of the year for hearty souls. Everyone else, please start booking your trip to the Bahamas. This means you, fixxxer. I don’t want to see you on here crying everyday about how much you hate the weather. It is getting so, so old…

    1. slim jim (NW GR) says:

      yes its all about perception. While some think its been hot this summer others think its been just about right (that includes me) The same can be said of fall and winter.

      1. Laker says:

        It has! I honestly don’t think we’ve had many sweltering days. Usually we get a string of 92-95 and we haven’t been that hot yet this summer. It’s been consistently 3-4 degrees above average. I wouldn’t call this a “hot summer” but rather a very warm, above average summer.

        1. michael g (SE GR) says:

          We did have four 92′s in a row in GR earlier this summer.

        2. fixxxer says:

          we have been warm but not what id call a heat wave. it was hotter the last week of may than it has been most of this summer.

        3. Irish coffee says:

          fwiw, weeks of July 3-9; 10-16 ;& 17-23 were all HOTTER than last week of May…& very soon to be added to that list will be week of Aug. 2-8 ;)

  10. sKora says:

    Anyone know what the snow total for the 95-96 season was?

  11. fixxxer says:

    steve ill be here everyday just to complain for you!

    1. Steve (Kalamazoo Township) says:

      Get a life, please?

      1. BranchCountyBob says:

        Fixxxer are you this much of a douche outside of blog world? Or are you just an internet tough guy?

        1. fixxxer says:

          hi bobby! you never learn do ya!

  12. Hi Bill,
    Thanks for returning my message. We did have a great time in Grayling, the weather was great! Tuesday, the day we were leaving it became very hot and humid, glad to leave at that point!
    You were busy that week with all of the storms and tornado’s that were passing through.
    I sure hope this heat ends soon. I would like to have the windows open and fresh air coming in.
    Thanks again Bill!
    Shirley Stump,

  13. Mike Geukes says:

    NOAA Still Expects Active Atlantic Hurricane Season; La Niña Develops


    If the URL are too long, just copy and paste link in your browser.

  14. fixxxer says:

    ^ this is why i will not go swimming in michigan waters. im shocked woodtv hasn’t reported on this yet.

    1. michael g (SE GR) says:

      15 straight months of complaints that it isn’t warm enough to go swimming followed up with “this is why i will not go swimming in michigan waters.”


      1. fixxxer says:

        how about you go swimming in it and tell me how you feel afterwords. can’t blame me for the waters being nasty. and yes i like heat, doesn’t mean i go swimming.

        1. Matt (Norton Shores) says:

          Complaining and being negative isn’t healthy for you either.

      2. fixxxer says:

        you like snow…do you roll around in it all day long?

        1. Matt (Norton Shores) says:

          Yes! Snow rocks! I’m telling you…can’t wait! Of course, we get to see the beautiful Fall colors first and roll around in the leaves.

        2. fixxxer says:

          i can tolerate fall but i still hate winter!

    2. BranchCountyBob says:

      Jump in and take a big gulp for me and the rest of us Fixxxer.

      1. fixxxer says:

        once again bob you prove how much of a jackass you can be towards people. id advise you to not even respond to my posts anymore. i think it’s funny how one person on a blog can get some of you all worked up! ;)

        1. timeno says:

          some people might think that being a constant complainer is being a jackass. i’m just sayin’

  15. Tyler says:

    I remember in early October of 2005 I was playing basketball and it was 78 degrees outside!

  16. Jevon Murphy (Muskegon) says:

    The lakes are pretty warm, and I do expect to break an all time record before the summer is out, perhaps even before the month is out, which would be cool to see! However, I do expect when we get into more active weather patterns that the showers/storms, will churn the waters and cool them down a bit, but shortly after the water temps. will warm back up!

    As for the snow part, yeah, I am excited about this winter as well, but lets enjoy the summer and fall, too…So we dont rush life right on by!

    1. Irish coffee says:

      I haven’t tallied final results yet, but it’s looking more and more like fixxxer et;al heat-lovers are seriously outnumbered by SNOW-LOVERS!! Waiting for INDY to vote/weigh in on scales of wx justice……

      1. slim Jim(NW GR) says:

        While its true that for some reason more so called “snow, cold lovers) write on this blog. As a whole more people like NOT having snow and cold vs those that like the cold and snow. While I may not it “hot” I do like it warm and I would not complain if it stayed like this all year long! And if you want to see compiling just wait until we have a winter with little or no snow and temps in the low to mid 40′s LOL

        1. Matt (Norton Shores) says:

          I think it’s because more people who live in snowy areas hate snow compared to those who love it. Thus, this blog gives us snow-lovers the opportunity to talk with others who actually enjoy it like us. Plus, watching and waiting for lake effect snow is like watching for thunderstorms. It’s exciting…you don’t know where it’s going to hit sometimes.

          Oh, and good point Jevon about not rushing life away.

        2. Irish coffee says:

          Yep, in GENERAL public, more people are anti-snow than pro…….but here, there is a phenomenon known as “wx-weenie” syndrome …iow, wx geeks USUALLY trend to extreme sides of wx,i.e; snow, cold,stormy,etc
          For me, i’ll take snow w/ veriTABLE setting of plethora of winter sporting GOODS vs. summer w/ allergies, bees,ticks,poison ivy, 3 showers/day, running 5mi. in 100 degree heat,higher gas prices, more deaths(from drownings,lightning strikes, heat strokes,etc),bikini-clad beaches-oh wait, nevermind!

  17. slim Jim(NW GR) says:

    If the great lakes do stay very warm heading into late fall early winter then as always the first few lake effect snow events will be pushed inland while near the lake shore it will be more of a rain or rain/snow events until the lake “cools” more.

  18. Mark H says:


    This is wonderful news to hear the Lakes are warmer than normal, just hope it stays this way going into early part of Sept. (When I am up there for 4 days)

    2-3 more weeks or warm water… Oh yeah.

  19. dano (Norton Shores) says:

    Some strong east winds would turn the water over in a hurry and it could get cold. Talk to divers and they say warm water is only near the surface.

  20. dano (Norton Shores) says:

    It seems kind of early to be thinking about snow since I have had my air conditioning on for the last 3 weeks!

  21. Todd In Nunica says:

    I mow a few places where there back yard is just a stones throw away from the lake and yea I have noticed, some years (like last year) I kept a sweat shirt in the truck for days that there was a strong west wind. Some days I would be sweating here in Nunica and then it would be 50deg (or so it seemed) right on the beach.

    This year I do not get the “relief” from the cool lake breeze.

    After last winter I hope to see 100″ or more here in Muskegon………and 300″ right on top of fixxers house……lol :)

    Last 2 days have been wonderful though.

    1. Aaron says:

      NOOOOOooooo………….that would mean 300″ on my house and most of west MI’s houses too! BLACH!

  22. DF (SE Mich) says:

    Going down now. I bet this is a trend you’ll see for the rest of the year.
    Do I sound like fix or what? =)

  23. Matias says:

    Poor Egg Harbour and people there: 4th of July, 2010 at 9:59 they had to burn in heat of 604 Fahrenheit. And not much easier on other places of that district: the Great Lakes are was actually boiling.

    Take a look at this one:

  24. [...] I found it was downright laughable.” (Just a few examples of media hysteria here and here and here and here) He continues, “ Prior to this report I would frequent the ‘Coastal Watch’ [...]

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