ArtPrize weather: How 2017 stacks up against past years

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — If you’re heading out to ArtPrize Nine, get ready for record to near-record heat.

Even though ArtPrize Nine is only in its second day, it will certainly go down as the warmest start to the competition. That record will likely never be eclipsed, considering temperatures will near records through Tuesday, with highs and lows running 15 to 20 degrees above average.

Forecast temperatures vs record highs

ArtPrize typically falls during the autumnal equinox, which marks a transitional time of year in terms of weather. In West Michigan, conditions range from frosty mornings with temperatures as cold as 30 degrees to sweltering heat. We’ve had perfect stretches of sunshine spanning more than a week and cool and gloomy weather patterns that last just as long. Last year ranked as one of our warmest years of ArtPrize, yet it was also the wettest by more than an inch.

>>Inside Complete coverage of ArtPrize Nine


So far, visitors to five of the past nine ArtPrizes have enjoyed above average temperatures.

Average temperatures through ArtPrize 2017

However, creator Rick DeVos may have been second-guessing when to hold ArtPrize after bleak weather during its inaugural year. Temperatures during the 15 days of ArtPrize were the coolest in the competition’s history, and 11 of those days included measurable rain.

Temperature departure from average during ArtPrize

But the next year was a different story. Not only was 2010 the driest in the history of ArtPrize, it also began with highs of 88 and 82 degrees respectively. Visitors basked in six days of 100 percent sunshine, records show.

Percentage of sunshine during ArtPrize

Visitors to ArtPrize 2011 enjoyed seven days of 100 percent sunshine. Unfortunately it was preceded by seven consecutive days of measurable rain.

Rainfall during ArtPrize


Visitors to ArtPrize Nine’s outdoor entries should focus on staying hydrated and dress like it’s summer.

If you want to beat the heat, there are more than 115 entries you can check out without ever leaving air conditioning. It starts by parking in the ramp underneath DeVos Place and riding the elevator up into DeVos Place, where there are more than 50 entries.  Visitors can then take the Skywalk to the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, where there are a dozen ArtPrize Nine entries. Then it’s back through the Skywalk to the JW Marriott and Courtyard by Marriott.

Those willing to step outside briefly to cross the street can see 75 more entries at the B.O.B. and 20 Monroe Live. The Grand Rapids Art Museum is also an ArtPrize venue that’s only a block away.


If you are not a fan of the heat, you can also wait. It appears a pattern change will arrive next Wednesday, bringing down highs to the 60s by the end of the week.

8-14 day temperature outlook

Even if you put away your air conditioner, you might want to keep the sprinklers handy. Despite the cooler temperatures, the dry pattern in West Michigan will persist.

8-14 day precipitation outlook



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