September 2013

October 1st, 2013 at 11:37 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Chrishaven Pond Debra Fuerstnau   September was officially a dry and sunny month in Grand Rapids.  We had a whopping 70% of possible sunshine and 1.25″ of rain, 3.03″ below average (side note, I think the 30-year average is a little high…if we had 200 years of record, I bet the average comes down 1/4 to 1/2″.  There were a few wet years (1986) that kick the average up).  We had only two rounds of thunderstorms…one on the 9th and the other on the 19th/20th.  Some places had a lot of rain on the 9th.  West Olive, for instance, had 2.71″ of rain (most of that coming in less than 2 hours) and they had over 4″ for September.  For the year, G.R. has had 33.57″ of rain and that’s 4.57″ above average to this point.   The warmest temperature was 94 on the 10th and the coolest in G.R. was 38 on the 23rd, so officially, no frost in G.R. yet.  Houghton Lake had a 30-degree reading on the 17th and they had 13 mornings with lows in the 30s.  The average wind speed was 7.2 mph and the fastest gust was a relatively tame 33 mph on the 10th.  G.R. had an average high temp. of 74.6 and an average low temp. of 52.9.   The picture from either yesterday or the day before was sent to me in an email from Debra Fuerstnau.  It’s the Chrishaven Pond at the Christensen Nature Center in northern Kent County (technically, Kent City).  You can see the colors are changing.

20 Responses to “September 2013”

  1. mr. negative says:

    October…and overcast

  2. Mark (East Lansing) says:

    September departures from average:

    Muskegon +1.6
    Traverse City +1.2
    Kalamazoo +1.1
    Battle Creek +1.0
    Flint +1.0
    Marquette +0.9
    Grand Rapids +0.9
    Gaylord +0.8
    Holland +0.7
    Saginaw +0.7
    Houghton Lake 0.0
    Sault Ste. Marie -0.2
    Jackson -0.2
    Lansing -0.2
    Detroit -0.3
    Alpena -0.8

    1. Ryan (Rockford) says:

      Fairly average month across much of Lower Michigan, with an edge towards slightly warmer than average temperatures.

      I expect October to wind up well above average because of this coming week, even though the clouds today will limit the maximum temps. The average high is only 67 or 68, so anything pushing 80, especially 3 or 4 days potentially, will make it quite difficult to nullify later in the month.

    2. Travis (Oakland County) says:

      I guess Bill only mentions this when the months are colder than average lol

      1. Bill Steffen says:

        GRR is slightly below average for temperature for 2013 thru the end of Sept. or 6.5 degrees below the “new normal” that Travis decreed last year.

        1. Travis (Oakland County) says:

          Never said anything about a new normal. Got the wrong guy.

          Meanwhile, another top 10 warmest year for the globe so far. Maybe even top 5.

        2. Bill Steffen says:

          That’s a false claim, Travis – those temperatures have been manipulated. Some past temperature data sets have been “cooled” up to 5 times to make the present look warmer. Again, in G.R., the average temperature of the decade of the 1930s was one degree warmer than the decade of the 2000s. Global temperatures have been flat since 2002. There is no denying that fact:

          Dr. Judith Curry, Head of Climate Science at Georgia Tech on the latest IPCC report:

          “The diagnosis of paradigm paralysis seems fatal in the case of the IPCC, given the widespread nature of the infection and intrinsic motivated reasoning. We need to put down the IPCC as soon as possible – not to protect the patient who seems to be thriving in its own little cocoon, but for the sake of the rest of us whom it is trying to infect with its disease. Fortunately, much of the population seems to be immune, but some governments seem highly susceptible to the disease. However, the precautionary principle demands that we not take any risks here, and hence the IPCC should be put down.”

        3. Travis (Oakland County) says:

          Straight from NOAA. Not a false claim whatsoever.

          What is false is that we’ve been flat for a decade. Up to 90% of the planet’s warming goes into the oceans. When you factor in the entire equation as pretty much all climatologists do, we are setting all-time high after all-time high.

          If you want to manipulate the data, however, you only look at air temp and you go back to a really hot year and say we are “flat.” No one is buying it anymore.

        4. Travis (Oakland County) says:

          One day, this will be you Bill ;) Looking forward to it!

          Conservative Congressman Has A Change of Heart; Now Believes in Climate Change After Much Study

          ‘Bob didn’t come to this conclusion by way of a revelation. He studied the science, traveled twice to Antarctica, talked to the experts and looked at the evidence. His conclusion: Climate change is real, the consequences are dire, and we’re to blame. The overwhelming majority of the world’s credible scientists agree with Bob. In fact, it’s now nearly a consensus.’

  3. Brad says:

    Out of curiosity, do daily temperature datasets tend to follow a normal distribution, or is there any skewing such that the likelihood of significantly warmer days is higher or lower than the likelihood of cooler days of the same magnitude? (Let’s say +15 vs. -15). Does this vary seasonally?

    1. Cort S. says:

      That is a terrific question, and not one that I am equipped to answer. I have seen one professional talk on this subject though. There really is more complexity to the statistical properties of temperature normals and anomalies across space and time than what we might realize. One basic example, standard deviation of temperature is not the same everyone. It’s more impressive and unlikely to be 15 degrees above or below normal in Seattle than it is in Grand Rapids.

      1. Irish coffee says:

        Meso-climate makes a BIG difference in terms of this stat.(probability).As Cort mentioned, maritime influences would reduce #/intensity of EXTREME temp. departures.That said, locations in no. GreatPlains (subject to “chinook”/downsloping,lower dewpts. on avg. etc)experience some of the greatest extreme variability/departure values.Here in WESTERN Mi. the odds probably favor above avg. extremes(in excess of minimum departure value)in the mid-late FALL due to sst’s of Lake Mi. exceeding avg. air temp resulting in some moderation….likewise, opposite in spring. In winter, i think high max. extremes in DJF are probably quite close to min. high temp extreme(somewhere in neighborhood of +/- 40; summer i believe is quite similar as well- but perhaps a slightly higher prob of getting a -25 temp departure vs. a +25 in GR(high temp of ~60 VS HIGH OF 110)

    2. michael g (SE GR) says:

      Haven’t looked at the numbers, and this doesn’t directly address your question, but it seems that temps tend to depart farther from normal in the spring and the fall than in the summer and winter.

      1. Jim says:

        This year the largest departures have been in January with several departures of twenty degrees or more and we had one twenty plus departure last month. But over all looks like the winter has the largest departure in our area.

    3. Cort S. says:

      And to think, all of the above responses so far have only addressed variance, and not anything about your original inquiry about non-normal distributions. This is definitely an interesting topic. But I can say with good confidence that yes, natural systems like the atmosphere can indeed have non-normal distributions, whether they be skewed, bimodal, etc. And it makes sense that it could vary seasonally as well.

      1. Brad says:

        Good furlough homework that might require a steady supply of non-Irish coffee!

        1. Irish coffee says:


    4. Bill Steffen says:

      FYI – the day with the greatest variable between the record high and record low in G.R. is March 8th. We had a high of 78 on 3/8/2000 and a record low of -13 in 1943. That’s a 91-degree difference. On the other hand…on July 15th, we have a record high of 95 in G.R. (reached several times) and a record low of 47 in 1987. That’s a difference of 48 degrees between the record high and record low.

  4. Irish coffee says:

    Brad- the probability of MY body temp. reaching 103.5(5 abv avg) is MUCH higher than it ever getting to 93.5!(5 below;)

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