This Michigan City Has Some of the Nation’s Most Unpredictable Weather
Storms that seem to come from nowhere and temperatures that are nowhere near what they were forecast to be - that describes life in this Michigan city, home to some of the least predictable weather in the country.
Some regions of the United States have very predictable weather. Phoenix? Hot and dry. Like all the time. Honolulu is tempered by the trade winds to a nearly year-round constant temperature. How about Florida - expect it to be hot, muggy and a pop-up thunderstorm at any moment.
But there are other regions of the country that have much less predictable weather. The website FiveThirtyEight.com tracked weather data to determine who has the most and least predictable weather in the country.
Not surprisingly given our lake-influenced weather and the variety of conditions Lake Michigan brings us that the Southwest Michigan region ranked high in unpredictability - with Grand Rapids and South Bend both among the most unpredictable over-all weather cities.
But our Lake-driven variations are nothing compared to what happens to a place sitting exposed on a small jut of land on Lake Superior. Houghton, on the Upper Peninsula's Keewenaw Peninsula is home to the least predictable precipitation and overall 3rd most unpredictable weather. When it comes to being able to forecast rain or snow, according to 538,
Nothing tops Houghton, which gets about twice as much snow as any other city we evaluated and can also be reasonably rainy in the summer.
But why don’t notoriously wet cities like Seattle and Portland, Oregon, rank higher? Both have precipitation fairly often; Seattle ranks eighth in the country (out of the 120 cities we tracked) by the number of days with precipitation, and Portland ranks ninth. But they usually have light precipitation. Between 1994 and 2013, Portland got at least an inch of rain only 1.2 percent of the time, for example, as compared with 2.1 percent of the time for the average U.S. city. Their precipitation patterns are also quite seasonal, making them more predictable. Seattle has historically received precipitation on 71 percent of days in January but just 19 percent of days in July.
If you want to have an easy life as a weather forecaster, you should get a job in Las Vegas, Phoenix or Los Angeles. Predict that it won’t rain in one of those cities, and you’ll be right about 90 percent of the time.
In terms of overall unpredictable weather, only Great Falls, Montana and Rapid City, South Dakota have less accurate forecasts.