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A powerful derecho, record cool weather and hen egg sized hail

Almanac 16 July 2014 Click on image for a larger view
Almanac 16 July 2014 Click on image for a larger view
Grand Rapids Weather Examiner

A powerful derecho, record cool weather and hen egg sized hail top the list of Michigan weather events on this day in history. From the National Weather Service archives here events that happened on July 16.

1945 - The second morning of record cool weather in five days produces low temperatures of 42° at Grand Rapids and Muskegon. Detroit sees a record 49° and Flint 45°.

1980 - Between the hours of 8:30AM and 9:30AM, a powerful derecho swept through Southeast Lower Michigan. Winds were estimated to be up to 100 mph in Washtenaw County and up to 150 mph in Wayne County. Several observers remarked about the horrid dark green color the sky took on as the squall moved overhead. This storm blew out windows in the Renaissance Center. There was only one reported injury, and it was caused by the wind forcing a woman into a revolving door!

1986 - A plane carrying executives from Holland to Muskegon crashed while landing in heavy fog. The pilot had descended below approach minimums and the plane struck two trees about two miles short of the runway. Three people were killed, including the pilot. Three others were injured.

1991 - A severe thunderstorm produced a 70 mph wind gust 5.8 miles east southeast of South Range in the late evening.

1997 - A peak wind gust was measured at 63 mph out of a severe thunderstorm 3 miles west of Grand Marais, MI. A severe thunderstorm dropped golf ball sized hail (1.75 inch) 2 miles southeast of Stonington at 1645 EST. Strong winds ahead of a line of thunderstorms damaged a boat dock at Black River Harbor on the Lake Superior shoreline at 0455 CST and several trees were downed 15 miles northeast of the Ironwood Airport at 0515 CST. 1 inch hail (quarter sized) fell in Bergland at 0520 CST and 10 to 16 inch trees downed in Bergland at 0536 EST. 12 inch diameter tree downed at Bond Falls 4 miles east of Paulding at 0545 EST. A 16 inch diameter tree was downed 6 miles south of Kenton at 0555 CST.

1999 - A severe thunderstorm in the mid afternoon brought trees down across a road in Channing and trees were down at Randville. A large tree was brought down at Sawyer AFB.

2006 - Severe thunderstorms in Grand Marais with gusts up to 63 mph brought trees down across roads and caused power outages which caused $4000 worth of property damage early in the morning. A dozen six to eight-inch diameter trees were blown down between Copper Harbor and Delaware at 0428 EST 5 miles south of Copper Harbor causing $4000 in damage. 2 inch hail fell (hen egg sized) 7 miles north of Hancock in the early morning. Several trees down along Highway M-77 and adjoining side roads 8 miles north of Seney at 0501 EST. Numerous trees down across Salo Road, Bear Lake Road and along Highway M-203 south of McLain State Park 7 miles north of Hancock. A wind gust to 69 mph was measured at the Michigan Tech Research Center at the Houghton County Airpport at 0728 EST. A four-inch tree was down at Freda. Numerous trees and power lines were down in Newberry at 0518 EST causing $4000 in damage. 12-14 trees up to twelve inches in diameter down across Highway M-123 between Newberry and Tahquamenon Falls or 10 miles north of Newberry at 0525 EST. One tree fell on a house causing $10,000 in damage. An upper disturbance interacting with a very warm airmass and frontal boundary over southern Lake Superior helped set the stage for severe thunderstorms across portions of northern Upper Michigan during the late evening of the 15th into the morning hours of the 16th. The hardest hit area was over the north half of Houghton County where numerous thunderstorms caused damaging winds, large hail and flash flooding from torrential downpours. Spotters measured nearly four inches of rain in Laurium with street and basement flooding reported. 3.67 inches of rain fell mainly between 3 and 5 am EST in Laurium. 2.99 inches of rain was reported at the Houghton County Airport with a washout of County Road 203 in Calumet Township in the morning. Keweenaw, Alger, Luce and northern Schoolcraft counties also observed damaging winds and/or large hail from the storms. Numerous trees and power lines downed in western Chippewa County in Eckerman and trees downed and a scoreboard at the Pickford High School football field was destroyed. Trees and power lines downed in Curtis causing $5000 in damage.

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