Surrounded on most sides by vast lakes that seem to have their own climate, Michigan’s weather varies quite significantly, from a dry but frozen north to a wet and temperate south. This meteorological and geographical variance can make it hard to know where to go in Michigan and when.

Detroit, Michigan, has both the best weather in the state and one of the most strategic locations, right along the shores of Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair. Detroit has more sunshine, fewer months of freezing temperatures, a longer summer, and lower humidity than many other Michigan cities.

Not every season is ideal, however: some months are far less inviting than others, and–presuming you would like to experience warmth and sun–some seasons are better for recreational, personal, professional, or academic travel than others. In this article, we’ll review each season and recommend the most ideal time for visiting Detroit.

An Average Year in Detroit

Across all 12 months, Detroit averages around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, with humidity that lingers around 70 percent, 3 inches of average precipitation, and 7.6 hours of sunlight each day.

Averages, however, can be deceiving. Between winter and summer, Detroit’s weather can run from as cold as 24.4 degrees Fahrenheit to as warm as 74 degrees Fahrenheit, and from as dreary as only 3.7 hours of sunlight per day to as sunny as 11.4 hours of sunlight per day.

Spring: Warms Up Fast

Temperatures in the spring average around 47.5 degrees Fahrenheit, but the temperature varies by about 25 degrees Fahrenheit between March and May, shifting from a chilly 35 degrees to almost 60 degrees. Precipitation also increases by about an inch, and sun by more than 3 hours per day.

MonthAverage Temperature (Fahrenheit)Average precipitation (inches)Average Sunny Hours Per Day
March35 degrees2.6 in.6.8 hrs
April47.6 degrees3.7 in.8.4 hrs
May59.9 degrees3.7 in.10.0 hrs

Summer: Best for Your Stay

Summer temperatures are much more consistent, averaging 70.4 degrees Fahrenheit and only ranging from a high of 74 degrees in July to a low of 65.8 degrees in September. This season is longer than others as well, extending all the way from June to September.

Additionally, although summer is a bit wetter than fall or winter, it averages nearly 11.5 hours of sunshine per day in July, and more than 11 hours per day in June–plenty of time to enjoy the comfortable conditions, making it the ideal time to travel.

MonthAverage Temperature (Fahrenheit)Average precipitation (inches)Average Sunny Hours Per Day
June69.6 degrees3.5 in.11.1 hrs
July74 degrees3.3 in.11.4 hrs
August72.3 degrees3.2 in.9.9 hrs
September65.8 degrees2.8 in.8.4 hrs

Fall: Shorter–But Sweeter–Than Winter

Since the summer in Detroit extends from June through September, fall is a bit shorter. Sunshine hours per day and average temperatures decrease rapidly, though precipitation remains the same as it was in September.

MonthAverage Temperature (Fahrenheit)Average precipitation (inches)Average Sunny Hours Per Day
October53.3 degrees2.8 in.6.8 hrs
November41.3 degrees2.8 in.5.2 hrs

Winter: Freezing, But Not As Much As Other Cities

Temperatures from December through February average 27 degrees Fahrenheit, though they don’t usually go below 20 degrees on a given day. Although much drier than spring or summer, winter has significantly fewer hours of sunlight, averaging only 4.3 hours per day. Not quite the time for sunbathing or outdoor relaxation.

MonthAverage Temperature (Fahrenheit)Average PrecipitationAverage Sunny Hours
December30.4 degrees2.8 in.3.7 hrs
January24.4 degrees2.6 in.4.1 hrs
February26.1 degrees2.4 in.5.2 hrs

Though Detroit certainly gets quite cold and dark in the winter months, it’s far more comfortable than the temperatures in other cities. Drummond, Michigan, for instance, reaches an average of less than 19 degrees Fahrenheit in January and only 2.3 hours of sunshine per day in December.

Detroit Outdoor Features

Thanks to its location along the waterfront, Detroit has both water and land activities to enjoy when the weather warms up in the spring and summer:

  • Walking and nature trails
  • Fishing
  • Picnicking
  • Dog parks
  • Sports, such as baseball, basketball, and soccer

Detroit’s Parks and Recreations website has its own Park Finder search tool that you can use to look for parks in your travel area. You can filter based on various characteristics, such as whether or not a particular park has a walking path, swimming pool, or sports field.

Similar Cities to Detroit in Michigan

Though Detroit may have the best weather, other southern cities also come quite close, having less rain, more sun, and warmer summers than many other spots in Michigan. If a metropolitan area like Detroit doesn’t interest you, consider these other nearby cities:

  • Ann Arbor
  • Lansing
  • Flint
  • Wyoming (not the state!)

Anywhere within the lower third of Michigan should have similar weather to Detroit, although they may not have a similar location along the shore of the Great Lakes.


Thanks to lots of summer sunshine, less humidity, and minimal precipitation for a shoreline city, Detroit has some of the best weather in the entire state of Michigan. So regardless of whether you’re traveling for school, work, a potential move, or just for fun, Detroit has several months of consistent, comfortable conditions that will surely make your trip all the more pleasant.