This week has been great for finishing up outdoor projects before the weather takes a turn towards cold and wet conditions. Out west the second snowstorm of the season is ramping up through Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas. This system will move into our area by Friday bringing rain and the possibility of a few storms – I will have more on that in tomorrows post – I will say if you need to do anything outside, today and tomorrow will be the best time for it.
1998: A squall line moved across Lower Michigan producing tornadoes, downbursts, and some flooding. A tornado struck Ferris State University in Big Rapids, injuring seven students. Another tornado moved from northern Isabella County into southern Clare County, damaging several homes. Total damage with the storms was more than a million dollars.
1965: A tornado destroyed a trailer and several outbuildings southeast of Clare in Isabella County.
2007: Temperatures reach record highs as very warm weather prevails across Lower Michigan from the 5th to the 8th. Grand Rapids sets three record highs in a row with temperatures in the upper 80s from the 6th to the 8th.
1871: The worst wildfires in the history of the Great Lakes region occur as strong south winds combine with tinder dry conditions. The fires leveled several areas of Michigan and Wisconsin, including the cities of Peshtigo, Holland, Manistee, and Port Huron. At least 1200 people died, about half of them in the Peshtigo, Wisconsin fire. That same night, the Great Chicago Fire erupted, destroying much of the city.
1989: Record cold temperatures put the freeze on southwest Lower Michigan for the second day in a row. Records include 23 degrees at Grand Rapids and Lansing and 24 degrees at Muskegon. The record cold is accompanied by scattered snow flurries.
1879: Southwest Lower Michigan is in the midst of a long spell of warm weather. Lansing rises into the 80s for seven out of the eight days from October 5th through the 12th. This includes the record high of 84 degrees on October 10th, which was preceded by a record 83 degrees on the 9th and followed by 85 degrees on the 11th.
1906: An early season snowstorm drops 4 to 8 inches of snow from Ludington to South Haven. Temperatures plunge into the teens the next morning, killing thousands of fruit trees, enough to alter the agricultural economy of southwest Lower Michigan.
1912: A late evening tornado hit Gratiot County. Five farms sustained damage along a five mile-long path. An elderly woman was killed and her son injured as their home was blown apart southwest of Alma.
2006: A record early season snowstorm brings up to eight inches of snow to southwest Lower Michigan. Tree damage and power outages were extensive around Hastings in Barry County as the wet, heavy snow clings to the tree branches, which still had leaves on them.