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A shipwreck, an August snowstorm, and a tornado outbreak

Almanac 8 August 2014
Almanac 8 August 2014
Grand Rapids Weather Examiner

A shipwreck, an August snowstorm, a tornado outbreak and vast tracks of timber destroyed top the list of Michigan weather events on this day in history. From the National Weather Service archives here are the events that happened on August 8.

1882 – An August snowstorm was reported by a ship in Lake Michigan. A thick cloud reportedly burst on the deck covering them with snow and slush six inches deep. Snow showers were observed at shore points that day. (David Ludlum) (The Weather Channel)

1888 - The wood steam tug Fawn, while carrying lumber, foundered in a gale at Death's Door Passage in the Bay Of Green Bay and Lake Michigan.

1894 - Only four days after record cool weather in the 30s and 40s, the thermometer soars to record highs of 96° at Grand Rapids and 99° at Lansing.

1933 - Vast tracts of timber were destroyed by fire in the southern U.P. with farm buildings and at least one sawmill and logging camp reduced to ashes. Hundreds of people, both permanent residents and summer vacationers fled as the fires spread. Many head of livestock were killed from the fires. A fire in Nelma, Wisconsin broke out and jumped the Brule River into Iron County Michigan. The fire moved into the Hagerman Lake District. Highway M-73 was closed for several hours due to the dense smoke. Sometime during the height of the dry spell in the summer of 1933, a wildfire broke out on Sugar Island near Sault Ste. Marie. The summer home of former Governor Chase Osborn and a forest preserve were saved.

1939 - A tornado outbreak across central and southern Lower Michigan resulted in two deaths and about 100 injuries. A violent tornado moved across the southeast part of Kalamazoo, destroying dozens of homes and killing two people. More homes were destroyed and six people were injured in northern Kent County, northeast of Cedar Springs.

1973 - A tornado injures five people and damages eight houses in Carson City, Montcalm County.

1977 - A tornado destroys a barn and trailer north of Marion in Osceola County.

1984 - Three tornadoes were reported around Genesee County at 2:08pm, 2:15pm and 2:20pm. The tornados ranged from F1 through F3 and caused between $25,000 and $2,500,000 in damages.

1989 – A total of ninety-nine cities in the central and eastern U.S. reported record low temperatures for the date, including Alpena with a reading of 40°, Grand Rapids with 43°, Muskegon 44°, Detroit 47°, and Flint with 44°.

2000 - Three large trees and a power pole were brought down in a severe thunderstorm in Faithorn in the mid-evening causing $1500 in damage. Shingles were blown off a roof 5 miles north of Daggett in the mid-evening causing $1000 in damage.

2001 - Temperatures soared into the upper 90s. This was the fifth day of a six day heat wave with temperatures in the 90s. Highs reached 99° in Detroit, and Saginaw, 96° at Houghton Lake and 98° in Flint, all of which are records for the date. In the Upper Peninsula a severe thunderstorm caused 8 to 10 inch diameter trees blown down, blocking highway H-13; 4 miles south of Munising with gusts up to 63 mph. A line of severe thunderstorms with damaging winds crossed the northern counties of Upper Michigan in the morning. 8 and 12 inch diameter trees blown down 8 miles north of Baraga. The thunderstorms developed ahead of a warm front and produced wind gusts in excess of 60 mph. There were numerous reports of downed trees as the squall line quickly moved east.