Lake Michigan Keeping the Lower Peninsula Warm

Great Lakes temperatures final.jpg

This is a map of the actual temperature at 7 a.m. this morning, January 13, 2016. Look at how the below zero temperatures made it to western Lake Michigan and stopped. (NOAA/ Torregrossa) (Torregrossa,

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Author: Mark Torregrossa

Published on: January 13th, 2015

MICHIGAN – Lower Michigan can officially declare itself the Banana Belt of the Great Lakes. This morning, our Banana Belt was more apparent than ever.

The map above shows the actual temperature earlier this morning, at 7 a.m.

Obviously it has turned much colder over the past few days here in Michigan. But it is certainly not as cold as Wisconsin or northern Illinois.

Currently Lake Michigan water temperatures average about 42 degrees. Look at how that “warm” water affects Lower Michigan.

At 7 a.m., Green Bay, Wisconsin, was minus 9 degrees. At the same time, just across Lake Michigan, Honor, Michigan, was 12° and Manistee and Ludington were 11°.

Milwaukee was a frigid minus 5 degrees, while Muskegon and Grand Haven were 15 degrees at 7 a.m.

Waukegan, Illinois, was minus 3 degrees, and across the lake here in the Banana Belt, it was about 17° at South Haven and St. Joseph.

So currently Lake Michigan keeps Lower Michigan about 20 degrees warmer than Wisconsin and Illinois.

I see a travel ad campaign opportunity for Michigan.

I should point out we are the Banana Belt now. But come April, when Lake Michigan’s temperature is still in the 40s, Wisconsin and Illinois are warming up. We are then the Arctic Tundra of the Great Lakes. That cold westerly wind keeps Lower Michigan much colder than areas just to our west.

Now we also know why we have so many different coats in our closets. We get thrown all kinds of weather, courtesy of our Great Lakes.



Torregrossa, Mark. “See why Lower Michigan is the banana belt of the Great Lakes.” Mlive. N.p., 13 Jan. 2016. Web. 18 Jan. 2016.

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