Grand Rapids Thermometer Reading Too Warm

August 3rd, 2014 at 4:27 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

muskegon glerl    If you’re using the GRR thermometer for forecast verification, you’ve got a problem.  Yesterday GRR had a high of 86°.  Not only was that the warmest temperature around, but it was several degrees warmer than other close-by thermometers (81° Ionia, Fremont, 83° Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Hastings, 79° Allendale, Sparta, Hudsonville and Sturgis.   Today at 4 pm – GRR is 88°.   The closest reading to that is 84° at Fremont.   Both WOOD-TV here at Heritage Hill and GVSU downtown report 81°, Calvin College is 83°.   This may be because the the dry weather as baked out the ground and grass around the weather station (best guess) or there could be a problem with the thermometer.   In any case, I can’t forecast to verify for that thermometer, when it’s not representative of the area.  Picture is from mid-afternoon at the Muskegon Channel, where the air temperature at 4 pm was 71.6°.  Water temps. include 61° at Muskegon, 62° at Duck Lake and Saugatuck, 63° at Holland St. Park and 64° at Grand Haven.  Watch me on the news tonight for the updated forecast (t-storms tomorrow).

31 Responses to “Grand Rapids Thermometer Reading Too Warm”

  1. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

    86 on the thermometer here at Woodland Mall in the car

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      In the middle of an asphalt parking lot on a sunny, calm day – it’s going to be warmer than the surrounding fields and forests.

  2. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

    Bill are you going to change the forecast to accommodate with this problem or just stick with your thermometers readings?

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      It’s a couple degrees difference and it’s happened before in dry periods with sun and light winds. I don’t just forecast for one thermometer at the airport.

  3. I have 86 on my thermometer here too. Either way its is warm, no denying that. Still a little above average even if its a little high.

    1. I know say average to a couple degrees above depending on location

      1. Should* stupid spell check

  4. Does the NWS plan to make any changes at all bill or don’t you know?

    1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      There is a difference in temps depending on the local surroundings, rain fall cloud cover ect. So just because it lets say 88° at the airport in GR and 83 out in Ionia that dose not mean the either reading is wrong! BTW I had a high temp here at my house of 89° so maybe its not just the airport maybe its the “heat island”

      1. Your not getting what I was saying. I meant are they going to move the thermometer at all to a more accurate area until we get some rain or will they just leave it where it is. All other temp readings are fine. I am talking strictly the weather station at the airport only

        1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

          I very much understand what you are saying but why move the station? Its what the temp is at that station location. Just because its one temperature at location one dose not mean it cant be a different temperature at a different location one mile away. The temperature can be the correct temperature at both locations. What if the location was at a location that read colder then surrounding areas??

    2. Bill Steffen says:

      No, the NWS shouldn’t make any changes…this isn’t that big a deal…the thermometer (MMTS) is probably working fine…the forecaster has to decide whether to verify a temperature forecast with the GRR temperature, or ignore that for awhile and forecast a high temperature that would be more of an average of what the temperature will be across the broader area.

  5. Travis (Oakland County) says:

    Another heating conspiracy I suppose

    1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      You should know all about global warming and heating conspiracy! You are the King of delusion! Take a pill and check with me in the morning!

      1. fixxxer says:

        Look whos talking rj. You have no room to talk. Go commit yourself again. Maybe you can share a room with jordan and deb.

    2. Bill Steffen says:

      No conspiracy – just a localized example of what happens when the sun can put all it’s energy into heating air instead of using some to evaporate water.

      1. Bryan says:


        Have you looked into the specifics as to the cause of the Lake Erie algae bloom near the Toledo water intake station? I know Lake Erie itself is a pretty shallow lake and would be safe to say it warms up quicker than the other Great Lakes. Is this a contributing cause? I have also heard farm run off and fertilizer also mentioned as a factor. Could this potentially happen in any portion of Lake Michigan?

        By the way, ideal beach day at Holland State Park on Sunday and water temps were finally tolerable. Hoping for no more lake “up welling” for August and September. Got to stretch and enjoy the warmer weather months before winter sneaks up on us.

        Make it a great week.

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          Here’s a generic article on the algae blooms from the Ohio EPA: Algae blooms have occurred in other Great Lakes, but Lake Erie is most susceptible being the shallowest and often the warmest Great Lake.

          Water intakes are often about 30-40 feet below the surface. We can have algae blooms at the surface, while the water remains safe at 30-40 feet. The scope of the problem in Toledo is unusual.

  6. fixxxer says:

    Seems woodtv had the serious cold weather bias this year. Thats all we hear about. Its like they hired joe.b.

    1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      Just the facts which Travis and yourself fail to believe! You guys should just get a room!

  7. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    The below normal temperature pattern is looking good! Keep it coming all summer long! I love it! ROCK n ROLL will never die baby! The cool summer has been INCREDIBLE!

    1. fixxxer says:

      Yeah becuase the 80s are soo cold. Moron.

      1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

        More name calling from the King of negativity! Would would have thought?

  8. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    GR is well below average so far this summer! Who knew? Certainly not fixxxer and his ridiculous aliases! Imagine that!

    1. While July was way below average June was above so it balances out. A little something for everyone

      1. shelbyville says:

        Anyone tracking the rain coming across the lake? I hope it hits me, my yard is getting dry….

      2. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

        June at GR was +1.8° and July was -4.1° so the two month average is still below average at GR

  9. Barb says:

    It was very warm riding the Central railway trail from Toppinabee to Indian River and back.

  10. Brian(Grandville) says:

    It will be interesting to see how any precip. reacts as it enters W. MI tomorrow. It seems when we get into a dry spell , it’s hard to get out. We really need the rain, everything is drying up over here. I was in Belding yesterday, and everything is lush green.

  11. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    While the airport reported a high of 88° today I had a high temp of 90° and while getting somewhat dry at my house its no where as dry as some summers in the recent past. As for the warmer temps here in GR maybe its part of the “heat island” but it should be noted that some areas have more rain then GR in the last week.

  12. Rad (Jenison/Hudsonville) says:

    I saw Travis @ the airport playing around with it :)

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