Many residents and potential visitors wonder what climate zone is Michigan, and this is the right article to answer their questions.
Michigan is a fantastic place to visit and one of the safest States in the US, whether from crime or natural disasters.
Climate change is becoming more of a concern, changing Michigan dramatically. This article will define the characteristics of Michigan’s climate and show any potential changes. So, what climate can you expect from Michigan? Let’s go in deeper and find out;
What Climate Zone Is Michigan?
Michigan is in a Humid Continental climate zone characterized by scorching summers and cold winters. It offers a fairly typical American weather pattern, with high temperatures going to about 780 F during the day and 570 F at night.
The cold seasons can go as low as 180, usually lasting about three months, from December to March. Some parts of Michigan, like the Upper Peninsula, have a subarctic climate that is much colder with a shorter growing season.
Characteristics Of The Michigan Climate
Michigan has an averagely friendly climate and weather conditions, and you might like living there. It has many seasons, making it ideal for most people since they can easily shift from a formerly cold or hot environment to Michigan’s. Let’s see its specifics;
Sunshine hours are when the sun is visible without obstruction by fog, mountains or clouds. July is the sunniest month in Michigan, with about 11 hours of sunlight. Since fog and snow always exist, December has only about 2 hours of sunshine.
The sunshine increases from January to July, then drops back towards December as the cold seasons approach.
Precipitation refers to the amount of water that falls from the sky, whether rain or snow, measured in millimetres per square meter. For instance, 2 mm/day means two litres of water falls on one square meter within 24 hours.
June has the highest precipitation level at about 3.2mm/day, while January has the lowest at about 1.6mm/day.
A rainy day is one where at least 0.1 litres of precipitation falls per square meter. This could be hail, snow, rain, or dew, provided it is over 0.1mm of precipitation. May and October offer the most rainy days at about 10 days each.
July is the least rainy month, with an average of 7 days, which is not that big of a difference. Michigan residents can expect rain about 8 days each month regardless of the season.
Warm air absorbs more moisture than cold air, so the air is more humid in hotter weather. A place’s relative humidity indicates how much moisture the air can physically contain, and higher humidity is very uncomfortable.
Most people are okay with a humidity of about 50%, but it gets messy after 60% since sweat can’t effectively cool the body. May has the lowest humidity of about 66% when it is dry. December is among the coldest months, with a value of about 79%.
There is a higher absolute altitude in the warm months between June and September. The air can absorb about 23 grams of water per cubic meter at 25 C and only 17.3 at 200. This means a relative humidity of 40% at 250C will have an absolute humidity of 9.2 grams of water.
Humans will perceive the air as muggy at about 13.5 grams, and this limit is reached mainly in June and July, which can be as high as 14 grams.
The Impact Of Climate Change On Michigan
Climate change is a growing concern, and it has altered many climates and ecosystems across the planet. It has had mostly negative effects, but some places have experienced good times. How has this phenomenon affected Michigan’s climate?
Winter Recreational Activities
Climate change is increasing global temperatures, so the winters will be warmer and shorter. Seasonal recreational activities like snowmobiling, ice fishing, snowboarding and skiing will have less time.
This could harm local economies and businesses that depend on them to make money. Small lakes are freezing later and thawing earlier than before, which shortens the window for ice skating and fishing.
The ice coverage of the Great Lakes has reduced by 63% since the early 1970s. Warmer seasons will reduce the ground area covered by snow, affecting recreational activities in the snow. It won’t be Christmas without snow.
Despite this, annual snowfall has increased in the Great Lakes region, which can benefit winter recreation in some locations. Michigan is only one of many areas experiencing the same changes, and they are getting more drastic.
Changing climate offers benefits and drawbacks to the farmers in Michigan. The higher carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere and shorter winters have increased wheat yield. There is more time for the wheat to grow, and farmers can get more.
The increasingly hot summers will reduce the yield of corn and soybeans since these crops don’t fare well in overly hot weather. In 70 years, Michigan’s Lower Peninsula will have about 15 days per year with a temperature over 950 F.
The increasing temperature will cause atmospheric changes that will lead to excess rain and sunlight, which will cause droughts and floods. This will harm crop yields and force farmers to invest millions in artificial irrigation and water control systems.
Any change in the temperature affects environmental elements, which in turn affect the ecosystems in the area. The ranges of plants and animals are likely to change as climate changes will favour some and diminish others.
For example, warmer weather will cause more rainfall in the short term, changing the composition of Michigan’s forests. As temperature increases, the population of quaking aspen, black spruce, balsam fir and paper birch may decline in the Upper Peninsula.
Oak, pine trees and hickory will increase in population as they fare better in warmer conditions. The increasing temperatures will also affect underwater vegetation, affecting fish habitat. The higher temperatures will provide more habitat for warm-water fish.
This will increase the population of species like bass while reducing the habitat for cold-water fish like trout. These fishes impact the environment significantly, and changes in their numbers would cause a ripple across the ecosystem.
The reduced ice cover and increasing severe storms will harm the habitats of both fish by causing flooding and erosion. This will cause imbalances in other organisms in the water, which can harm humans.
Changing climate can harm the quality of Lake Michigan and Lake Erie, which are two of the biggest lakes in the State. Warmer water causes more algal blooms that can harm fish, reduce water quality and destroy the Lake’s view.
An algal bloom in Lake Erie in August 2014 made the Monroe County Health Department advise people to avoid using tap water for drinking and cooking. This situation will rise again and on a larger scale as the climate changes.
The Great Lakes are a tap water source for many residents, and their destruction could lead to water shortages. Severe storms in recent years have increased the amount of pollutants in the lakes from land.
These pollutants are fertiliser for algal blooms, so they will increase as the storms worsen. The rain storms can also cause sewers to overflow into rivers and lakes, which makes them unsuitable for swimming and drinking.
In 2014, heavy rainstorms led to the flooding of about 10 billion gallons of sewer overflow in Southeastern Michigan. Most of the overflow ended up in Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie, further contributing to the ecological imbalance.
More rainstorms lead to sewers in Milwaukee and Chicago overflowing more often into Lake Michigan. This pollutes the beaches, and the chemicals in the sewer water can harm the fish in the lakes.
The sewage acts as manure and increases plant concentration in the Lakes, which reduces the oxygen levels for fish, thus reducing their population. One advantage of climate change is that warmer winters reduce the days when the lakes are frozen and impassable.
The decline in ice cover increased the shipping season on the Great Lakes by about 8 days between 1994 and 2011. This can translate into thousands of dollars in profit for the businesses that rely on such transportation means.
Research shows that the lakes will get about 3° to 7°F warmer in the next 70 years, extending the shipping season further and generating more money.
You have full details on the question, What climate zone is Michigan? So you will have an easier time planning for your time there. Michigan is an excellent place, but it experiences its share of extreme weather during the cold and hot months.
Most of the conditions are average, but global warming is hitting its ecosystems hard. There are shorter winters and longer summers, which have created opportunities and problems. Residents in Michigan and all other states that depend on natural resources must be ready to face the changes.