About Us...

Weather station

Why use this site?

It's run locally for anyone living in or visiting Marquette, Michigan. You'll receive accurate, real-time weather for the city.

Speed! Our server is in Michigan, and our pages consume very little data.

We have no ads or external tracking scripts that collect or sell your activity.

This site will run on any modern device (fully responsive) and a host of older ones too.

Security! Featuring 256-bit encryption and no 3rd party content by default aside from NWS forecast icons. The site even retains basic functionality with JavaScript disabled.

Exclusive features include: real-time conditions including air quality & solar readings, city normals/records, daily & monthly departures, user-configurable pressure, and keyboard navigation.

Conditions

Current conditions are measured approximately 1/4 mile south of downtown Marquette. Wind is sampled 28ft above ground level (AGL) and temperature/humidity at 7 ft (2.2 m) AGL. Our measurement location is typical of the city and yet provides a relatively open exposure to the prevailing winds.

We use the Sensirion SHT31 sensor suite inside a Davis VP2 24-hour fan-aspirated radiation shield. We replaced the DC stock fan with a durable AC-powered fan that moves more air through the sensor chamber (24 CFM or 2.25 m/s linearly). This minimizes radiation errors and ensures the quickest sensor response time.

Specifications:

Temperatures are within +/- 0.5°F.

Humidity is usually within +/- 2% except at 90% or above which should be +/- 3%.

[Humidity Disclosure: Due to a known defect, the humidity sensor has an effective ceiling of 92% to which we add 8%. We also add 1% to 85%, 2% to 86%, 3% to 87%, 4% to 88%, 5% to 89%, 6% to 90%, and 7% to 91%. These offsets were selected after considerable testing with highly-accurate equipment and each adjusted reading should be within 3% of true ambient humidity. Because the reading is averaged over 5 minutes, you may see values besides those listed when humidity fluctuates. We also correct a wet bias between 30% to 87% with a custom calibration curve (max correction: -6%).]

Pressure is measured indoors using a Davis Vantage Vue console. Variance from true station pressure during stable conditions is typically within 0.01" of mercury compared to our NIST-certified reference gauge.

[NOTE: If you have an analog barometer (usually a dial display) or a smartphone barometer app you're trying to calibrate, go into Settings on our home page and switch the "Pressure Formula" to "Altimeter".]

Wind speed is within +/- 2mph or 5%, whichever is greater. Wind direction should be within 10° (accounting for sensor spec of +/- 3° as well as pole movement). That assumes no obstructions — the major ones being 40 ft away to the NNE and 25 ft to the WNW.

[Wind Disclosure: In order to capture forecasted wind speeds, we estimate a 50-75 ft tower would be required to rise above the "urban canopy". Our anemometer is 28ft high, same as the Coast Guard. We ran a series of logarithmic calculations and found that sustained wind speeds can be very roughly "corrected" by multiplying by 1.4. Wind gusts cannot be corrected. We perform NO such correction but note this for those who are trying to reconcile reported wind speeds to forecasted values.]

Rain measurements should be within 5% of our manual CoCoRaHS gauge. Any automatically-calculated totals outside this margin of error are corrected to match manual measurements.

The Davis UV sensor only produces readings on the website in the warm season. It comes from the factory "calibrated against a Yankee Environmental Systems’ Ultraviolet Pyranometer, model UVB-1, in natural summer daylight." The accuracy is +/- 5% full scale (0 to 16 but 11 is the de facto max for our latitude). Drift can be up to +/- 2% per year. The sensor is level and aligned to true north.

The Davis pyranometer (solar radiation sensor) comes from the factory "calibrated against a secondary standard which is calibrated periodically against an Eppley Precision Spectral Pyranometer in natural daylight." It should be accurate to within 5% of full scale (0 to 1800 W/m2). Drift can be up to +/- 2% per year. The sensor is level and aligned to true north.

Our PurpleAir sensor (PA-II-FLEX) is mounted facing north where it is sheltered from the sun by an overhanging roof but otherwise open to the elements. We publish the Air Quality Index (AQI) using a 2 minute rolling average updated every 60 seconds. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes this sensor data on its Fire and Smoke Map (using an hourly average).

Routine checks and calibrations are performed using a variety of calibrated instruments as well as comparisons to nearby weather stations to be sure all sensors are operating optimally.

Updates:

Conditions are pushed to your device every 60 seconds although you can adjust the interval to your liking (from 3 seconds to 10 minutes). The home page reloads automatically every 10 minutes to grab the latest forecast and almanac (unless you disable reloads in page settings -- see upper right of home page). If you leave the home page open but minimize it or select a different tab, when you return -- assuming more than 10 minutes has passed -- a complete refresh will occur. Otherwise, only the conditions will update. Alerts from the National Weather Service are updated every 60 seconds and when present appear on the Home, Area, and Maps pages. The Weather History page is updated every 5 minutes (no auto refresh). The temps and forecast on the Area page are updated every 15 minutes (no auto refresh).

Forecasts

The National Weather Service provides us a grid forecast covering a portion of the city. Due to Marquette's varying elevation and lake exposure we cannot guarantee this forecast will equally apply to all areas. However, we have found it to be a good, general forecast for most neighborhoods within the city limits. Be aware that within 1-2 blocks of the lakeshore, particularly around McCarty's Cove, the lake's influence is strongest (moderating temperatures, raising humidity).

We track the accuracy of temperature forecasts appearing on the home page. We have found that around 2/3rds of the time 3-day forecasts are within 3° of reality. When the weather starts changing -- spring especially and autumn -- the accuracy tends to decline. When patterns stabilize in the winter and summer, accuracy improves. This is generally true of any location in temperate latitudes, but particularly true next to Lake Superior.

Davis weather station, CoCoRaHS gauge, anemometer

Marquette's Unique Climate

Others often use the NWS records measured in Negaunee Township (old County Airport location) which begin in the 1960s when describing "Marquette" weather or climate. We use Marquette city records (going back to 1857) on the home page almanac & History page. Why is this important? Marquette has an average annual temperature (43.2) that's closer to Traverse City (45.4) than Negaunee Twp (40.1). We are also in a USDA plant hardiness zone (5b) shared with Des Moines, IA. Simply put, it's different here!

In the winter, lake-effect snow increases as you rise in elevation. A 750 foot gain between the city lakeshore and the National Weather Service forecast office, for example, is the difference between approximately 120 inches of snow (Marquette) and 200+ inches of snow (Negaunee) on average annually. Just for reference, 80 inches is an entire winter's worth of snow in Grand Rapids, MI!

The city also features a "heat island" (due to its concentration of buildings & concrete which absorb and release heat). In the summer, when winds are from the south or west, it can be noticably hotter in the city than interior U.P. communities. If winds come off the lake the opposite can happen, Marquette can be significantly cooler than surrounding areas.

For weather in Marquette County and beyond, see our area page where you can compare temperatures and get the regional outlook.

Radars

Our featured radar option is seen at the top of the Maps page: a full-service weather widget that defaults to the latest NEXRAD radar image. It offers a loop of recent radar activity, among other things.

Design

This website's blue-aqua color scheme attempts to evoke Marquette's environment particularly the interplay of the sky and the water. Shades of gray represent cloudy skies and the warm tones suggest sandy earth and sunshine. The objective was to mimic a good painting which appears to change according to the light. At night, the site automatically displays a dark theme that's easier on your eyes and your device's battery. You can override the default theme by scrolling to the bottom of any page on the site and selecting "day" or "night".

Compatibility

This site is designed to perform well with mobile and desktop versions of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, and Edge browsing apps released within the last 5 years. If you are using older software, the site will either "gracefully degrade" (content remains readable but certain features are inactive) or completely breakdown (ancient browsers will do that!). Beware that outdated browser software is a gateway for hackers to gain control of your computing device.

Channels

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @mqtweather where we are most active. We also have a Facebook page.

We feed conditions to the following organizations:

  • CWOP (ID: EW7933)
  • Weather Underground (KMIMARQU13)
  • Purple Air (real-time air quality data)

Privacy Policy

Upon entering the home page of this website, assuming Javascript and cookies are enabled in your browser, a cookie (or local storage object if available) is set indicating the start time of your visit. That cookie exists only so the home page can automatically refresh after 10 minutes. You can disable auto refresh in the page settings (wheel icon, upper right of home page).

Settings on the home page and theme settings sitewide are preserved in cookies on your device. We do not analyze the usage of these preferences nor are they seen by any 3rd party.

If you choose to disable cookies, the site will operate properly but with reduced functionality on the home page. For instance, you will no longer receive automatic updates or have access to enhanced radar views.

If you fill out the contact form, we will not sell or distribute your email address for any reason.

We collect non-personally identifiable data via open-source analytics software called Matomo to better understand our audience and the effectiveness of this site. Among the data collected is: device type, browser software, approximate location (city, state, country), pages visited, time spent, and IP address. A cookie on your computer helps gather this information which is ultimately transmitted to a database on our hosted server. We also retain backup copies in case the primary database is corrupted, deleted or unavailable. No 3rd party is provided access to any of this information.

Disclaimer

This website is intended for informational purposes only. It is not affiliated with the City of Marquette municipal government. The administrator is an educated weather enthusiast not a meteorologist. Current & past conditions are provided by a privately operated weather station. All official weather records for Marquette, MI, are recorded by COOP station MRQM4 at the Water Filtration Plant (320 N. Lakeshore Blvd). For decisions regarding the preservation of life or property, please visit the National Weather Service Marquette or tune into local radio and television stations which are required, by law, to alert the public in the event of an emergency.

Providers

All forecasts are provided by the National Weather Service. NOAA & Synoptic Data provide conditions seen on the Area page. The radar widget on the Maps page comes from Windy. Satellite imagery on that page sources from CIRA (GeoColor) & UW-Madison SSEC (black & white). The UV Forecast comes courtesy of the EPA. Finally, the Regional Radar Loop is from The Weather Company. We thank each of them for making these resources available to our free, community-based, science education endeavor.

Reach Out

Questions? Comments? Please contact us.

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