Weather History – Kalamazoo Tornado

posted in: Michigan Weather Forecast | 5

I would say that yesterday was absolutely perfect weather-wise.  I dug out a new garden and planted the tomatoes, peppers and onions.  I have been gardening for 40 years and enjoy the work involved knowing that the fruit of my labors will produce tasty fresh vegetables.  The need to play in the dirt and grow things must be genetic because my forefathers and mothers were farmers going back several generations.  Most of the things I learned in life were self taught or by observation from gardening to use of hand tools to build anything from furniture to buildings.  Sadly, most schools don’t have building trades classes or metal working like they did when I went to school.  Seems to me at least the basics of self sufficiency should be taught in our school system so future generations would know how to use tools and fix things, however, in our throw away society the need doesn’t seem to be apparent to most.  All of this is a good prelude to another rant for another time….

Weather History

May 12

1956: A severe weather outbreak produces tornadoes, high winds and large hail across Lower Michigan. A deadly tornado hit near Flint for the second time in three years, killing three people on the southeast side of the city. One person was killed in Gratiot County as a tornado moved between Alma and Ithaca. Muskegon was pelted with baseball-sized hail that caused thousands of dollars in damage to homes and cars.

2000: Severe weather with flash flooding, tornadoes and downburst winds hit Lower Michigan. A weak tornado moved through an open field near Gobles in Allegan County.

May 13

1930: Severe thunderstorms produced tornado and downburst damage across eastern Clinton County. Over 30 farms had wind damage and two dozen barns were destroyed. A tornado struck four miles south of St. Johns.

1980: Kalamazoo was hit by a tornado that killed five people and injured 79 others. Fifty million dollars damage was done as the tornado damaged or destroyed nearly 300 homes and over 150 businesses.

May 14

1886: A tornado injured one person and damaged several homes north of Lansing. The injury occurred as a conductor was blown from a train.

2004: A tornado struck the southeast side of Maple Rapids, destroying a silo and damaging two others. A shed was also damaged. A couple of two by fours were driven into the side of a pole barn. Shingles were damaged and ripped off of two homes.

May 15

1855: A tornado destroys at least one building as it moves from Jackson to Washtenaw County.

1972: A tornado caused minor damage north of Potterville in Eaton County.

May 16

1997: Record low temperatures are set at Grand Rapids and Muskegon with both falling to 29 degrees. This will go in the record books as the coldest May on record at Grand Rapids.

May 17

1962: An early season heat wave sends temperatures into the upper 80s and lower 90s across Lower Michigan. Record highs on this date include the 91 at Grand Rapids, 89 at Lansing and 88 at Muskegon.

May 18

1915: Lansing records their latest measurable snow on record with 0.4 inches, and Grand Rapids does also, with 0.2 inches there.


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Pollen Forecast


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Sandy (Hudsonville)Rocky (Rockford)SlimRocky (Rockford) Recent comment authors
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Sandy (Hudsonville)
Sandy (Hudsonville)

It was an awesome day today. The weather was perfect for being outdoors. Working on flowers and putting hanging baskets together. I think I will soon be able to leave everything outside all night. This hauling everything in & out of the garage is for the birds. LOL!!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Great day, keep the low to mid 70’s going all summer long!


I was out doing some yard work and it is very pleasant day with lots of sun and the current temperature here at my house of 72 the latest reading at GRR was 70.

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Yes and this makes 2 nice days in a row! Here’s hoping for no 90’s this year!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

What an incredible stretch of below normal temps! This will be five months in a row! Wow!