GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michiganders are a hardy bunch.
Proof: Most winters we shovel away 60 to 90+ inches of snow under a meager average of 26% sunshine. During an average December, it’s cloudy eight out of 10 days.
No wonder many of us succumb to the dreaded seasonal affective disorder (SAD); we are one of the cloudiest states in the U.S.
We tolerate it knowing that Michigan summers not only bring warmer temperatures but also bright, piercing rays of sunshine to help shrug off winter’s gloom. Basking in the sunshine while putting footprints in the sand and hearing the waves roll gently can do wonders erasing your SAD.
The turnaround is impressive. Not only do daylight hours nearly double from solstice to solstice, but sunshine levels do, too.
But this summer has been lagging behind so far. I’ve been hearing a few grumbles from acquaintances asking, “Where has the sunshine been?”
The past five days have only brought us a measly 28% sunshine. That’s January levels in the middle of summer.
Surprisingly, the summer overall hasn’t been that far behind average at 60% versus the average of 63%.
My hunch is that most of us are comparing this summer with the previous. To put it bluntly, the summer of 2020 spoiled us.
In terms of sunshine, last summer was one of the brightest. June 2020 holds the title of our record sunniest and July wasn’t far behind. Sunscreen was at a premium with nearly eight of 10 days bright and blue.
We are nearly to the halfway point of summer, so I thought I would break down the sunshine statistics even further. See if you can guess what day has been the cloudiest and sunniest of the week.
My guess for cloudiest was Monday as I’ve noticed very little sunshine in between yelling “fore” during my Monday afternoon golf league. That is the case, with summer Mondays only tallying 39% sunshine so far.
What’s surprising is that the cloudiest day was followed by the sunniest. Tuesdays are the day to hit the beach with 72% sunshine.
Total weekend sunshine is running fairly close to the normal summer average. Sundays have been the sunnier of the two days.
Thankfully, it appears we’ll add to this summer’s sunshine tally this weekend. This might be a trend as drier air is indicated with the latest precipitation outlook.
So keep your sunglasses and sunscreen close by as the second half of the summer should begin on a bright note.