Another Frosty Morning – Weather History

We have another 28° morning (4:30 am temp).  We will see a slow warming trend over the rest of the week though we will be moisture starved until we get into next week as we see a gradual pattern change into warmer wetter conditions which are sorely needed.

Weather History for SW Michigan

May 9

1923: A very late-season winter storm dropped up to a foot of snow across Lower Michigan. Records were set for May snowfall at many places including Lansing with 11.5 inches, Grand Rapids with 5.5 inches, and Detroit with 6 inches.

1927: About 40 farm buildings are damaged or destroyed as a tornado moved from near Loomis in Isabella County, across southeast Clare County and into Gladwin County. Another tornado destroyed two barns and damaged two homes three miles west of Walker.

May 10

1902: A snowstorm drops from 1 to 6 inches of slushy snow across Lower Michigan. The four inches of snow at Muskegon is the latest measurable snow on record there

2006: A small weak tornado, determined to be a “landspout” moved through an open field near Schoolcraft in Kalamazoo County, doing no damage.

May 11

1956: A tornado hit the northeast edge of Kalamazoo, damaging 15 homes and destroying several barns.

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.

Weather History for SE Michigan

May 9

On May 9, 1923, a late-season snowstorm pounded Southeast Michigan. Six inches of snow was recorded in Detroit, with areas around Flint and Saginaw receiving around a foot! Widespread damage was also reported with trees and power lines snapping under the heavy wet snow.

Also on May 9, 2000, Plymouth received 1.75-inch hail at 7:05 pm and then had winds at 69 mph at 7:33 pm, which resulted in $135,000 in property damage.

May 10

On May 10, 2003, 1-inch hail was reported in Wyandotte at 12:10 am. 3/4-inch hail was also reported in Redford and Wyandotte on this day.

May 11

On May 11, 1974, an F3 tornado moved through Livingston County at 5:31 PM, near the community of Hell. This tornado only traveled less than a mile but was responsible for one fatality, 3 destroyed houses and 15 damaged houses.

May 12

On May 12, 1956, an F4 tornado hit Genesee County killing 3 people and injuring 116. This tornado occurred just three years after the devastating Flint/Beecher tornado of June 8, 1953 and is the last killer tornado to hit Genesee County. On the same date, an F4 tornado hit southern Wayne county and was responsible for 22 injuries.

May 13

On May 13, 1912, Detroit reported a record for the latest snow accumulating an inch or more. The snow was measured at 1.5 inches.

May 14

On May 14, 1987, Oakland County was hit by an F1 tornado at 5:10 PM.

May 15

On May 15, 1942, Flint was in the middle of a hot streak from the 14th-18th when high temperatures ranged from 91-93 degrees.

Also on May 15, 2007, there were 40 severe wind and hail reports across Southeast Michigan including tennis ball size hail in Bad Axe and a measured 74 mph wind gust in Howell.

Forecast Discussion

- Frost / Freeze tonight and frost Thursday night -

Frost and freezing temperatures are once again expected tonight
(Wednesday/Thursday morning). The upper trough that has been over
this area is finally booted out to the east. In fact we end up
with an upper high over us into Thursday. Winds will be light and
variable tonight and tomorrow night. Skies will be mostly clear
(few afternoon cumulus clouds) during the day but clear at night
both tonight and tomorrow night. So tonight I would expect the
model forecast lows to be to warm. Northern areas will likely will
get into the 20s and central and southern area will have lows in
the mid 30s in urban locations but rural locations may get below
freezing once again. Thursday night is not much different. The air
will be warmer to start with but dew points should still be in the
upper 20s to near 30 so lows may get close to freezing once again.

- Dry with warming into the weekend -

With the upper through to our east we will get a slow warming for
the next few days. However the polar jet does not get north of
here until late in the weekend. So I would imagine we will add
about 5 degrees to the high temperature each day into Sunday.

There is a northern stream shortwave that comes through the area
Friday into Saturday. However we still have surface high pressure
and the northern stream shortwave is moisture staved. What this
will do is add some mid and high clouds but that should be it.

- Major pattern change next week significant rain later-

We have spent the first half of May with an upper trough in the
area. That is about to change. A major storm system coming off
the coast of Korea yesterday will slowly cross the Pacific ocean
over the next week. There are two trailing systems in close
proximity to that storm too, so there is some question of how the
wave lenght between these storms will impact how they come across
the Pacific and then impact us. This storm will change our upper
air pattern due to rossby wave interaction with the downstream
upper waves. The system currently cover over 30 degrees of
Latitude and 40 degrees of Longitude. The lead wave from this
system will reach our west coast by this coming weekend. However
it will will take until early next week to start diving a deep
western trough. That of course will build an upper ridge over this
area by early next week. It will likely get summer like here
during that time. We will not see significant rainfall here until
that rather large upper wave starts moving east. I can not imagine
that happening all to fast given the size of this system. It
would seem Thursday would be the earliest I could see us starting
to see some rain from this storm.

The first real chance for a little rain here would be Sunday into
Monday but once again we have an issue with upper jet location.
The departing jet segment of the current polar jet will be driving
the rain event. The ECMWF keeps that jet core south Michigan as it
moves out. The GFS on the other hand lifts it farther north and
puts us in the jet entrance region, which would bring us some
showers. My thinking is the ECMWF will turn out to be correct and
the rain will mostly be south of here. Even if we could get some
rain from this system, it will not have much moisture to work with

The bottom line is I still think we have to wait for that large
Pacific system`s upper trough to get to this area and that is more
than a week away for sure.

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Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

I watched the local news on a Detroit station this morning. The met said they are -4.00″ precipitation YTD.


Officially at Grand Rapids we are now -5.32″ YTD. That seems like a lot but with some big time summer thunderstorms that still could be made up. At this time it is a rather nice May day. With full sun and light winds it is now up to 66 here at my house.

Nathan (forest Hills)
Nathan (forest Hills)

Although of all years to have record low amounts of rain, it is probably best to have it the year after record high amounts of rain. But you are right, an active hurricane season could supply us with plenty of rain later in the summer.

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

27 degrees this morning! The incredible Spring cold just keeps coming! Get prepared for more frost tonight! Wow, wow, wow!


Ahhh looks like summer weather begins in a day or two! Get ready for at least 4 months of pure bliss!


Low 70″s is Summer weather?? well I guess it’s a start! By the way welcome back to the blog lol …INDY

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

As you know mookie is a delusional warm weather nut!


There are indications that the later part of May will become both warmer and wetter.


The low here at my house just like at Indy’s was 29. It looks like the official low at GRR was around 35. At this time it is sunny and 41 here.

Barry in Zeeland
Barry in Zeeland

Well, another freeze warning and still no freeze here. Low temp of 36 overnight and looks like officially still no freeze at the airport either.


The low here at my house was 29. There was not a lot of frost but still cold.


Wow 29* degrees this morning out in my area we will say that’s a cold mid May morning!! Looking for some great warmer weather this weekend ….INDY