Southwest Lower Michigan

Included Counties: 
Ottawa, Kent, Allegan, Berrien, Van Buren, Cass
Watersheds: 
Black-Macatawa, Kalamazoo, Kankakee, Lake Michigan, Little Calumet-Galien, Lower Grand, Pere Marquette-White, St. Joseph, Thornapple

Geography

The Southwest Lower Climate Division is in the heart of the "Lake Michigan Snow Belt".  The terrain is level to gently rolling, and roughly 20 percent wooded.  Fruit orchards, various types of berries and vegetables are grown in the South Haven area.

Overview

Prevailing westerly winds, in combination with Lake Michigan to the west, produce a strong lake effect that increases cloudiness and snowfall during the fall and winter, and moderates the temperature throughout most of the year. This moderation of the climate is partially responsible for the diversified agriculture carried on in western Michigan. Northeasterly to southeasterly winds may produce clearing skies with the associated colder temperatures more common to areas further removed from the lake influence.  Because the day-to-day weather is controlled by the movement of pressure systems across the nation, this area seldom experiences prolonged periods of hot, humid weather in the summer or extreme cold during the winter.
 

Changes In Precipitation

 in.cm.%
Annual4.511.312.87
Winter0.61.48.94
Spring0.92.29.51
Summer1.02.69.99
Fall1.84.519.60

Linear best-fit changes are calculated over the period 1950-2012. Percentage changes are calculated relative to the 1951-1980 historical reference period.

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Changes In Temperature

 °F°C
Annual2.11.2
Winter2.51.4
Spring3.11.7
Summer1.60.9
Fall1.10.6

Linear best-fit changes are calculated over the period 1950-2012. Percentage changes are calculated relative to the 1951-1980 historical reference period.

Seasonal Precipitation

Seasonal Temperature