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A shipwreck, record heat, tornadoes and large hail

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A shipwreck, record heat, tornadoes and large hail top the list of Michigan weather events on this day in history. From the National Weather Service archives here events that happened on June 8.

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1933 - An early season heat wave peaked with record high temperatures hitting 97° degrees at Grand Rapids and 92° at Lansing. Lansing broke the record in 2011 with a high of 93°. Other daily records include Alpena with 96°, Detroit 100°, Flint 98°, and Houghton Lake 94°.

1953 - The deadliest tornado in Michigan history struck the northern Flint community of Beecher at 8:30PM, killing 116 and injuring 844 along its path. The F5 tornado touched down about 2 miles north of Flushing and from there, created a path averaging about a half mile wide as it moved across Flint, at an approximate speed of 35mph, to about 2 miles north of Lapeer. A 23-mile long path of death and destruction was left in its wake with over a hundred lives lost, including as many as 20 families reporting multiple deaths. Damage was estimated at $19 million (1953 dollars). Read more about the tornado here: Beecher tornado. On this day in 2003 (the 50th anniversary of the Beecher/Flint Tornado), three tornadoes touched down in the area. Ironically, one tornado hit the southern portion of Genesee County while commemoration ceremonies were underway.

1954 - The steel tug Edward C. Whalen foundered in a storm off Corbiel Point, Ontario in Lake Superior, thought to be a total loss and documents surrendered, but later recovered.

1973 - A severe thunderstorm produced a 63 mph wind gust 2.8 miles north of Marquette in the midafternoon.

1985 - An F1 tornado touched down in the mid-evening in Menominee County 6.9 miles west of Stephenson, MI with a damage path 50 yards wide and 2.5 miles long. A falling tree killed a man in a tent at Shakey Lakes County Park, 10 miles west of Stephenson. Property damage was valued at $2500. Golf ball sized hail (1.75 inch) fell in Menominee. Earlier, 1.75 inch hail (golf ball sized) fell 1.2 miles east southeast of Wakefield in the late afternoon.

2003 - Tornadoes strike Lower Michigan, with damage mostly confined to near Fenton in Genesee County and Leonard in Oakland County. A weak tornado hit near Rose Lake in Osceola County but did no damage. The slideshow on the left has a few severe weather maps for the day. Click this link for a radar loop of the storms on this day.

2008 - Severe weather and flash flooding occur on June 7th and 8th, with four drownings in southwest Lower Michigan. Two people drowned when their car plunged into a fifty foot ravine created by a washed out road in Castle Park, Allegan County. Tornadoes struck in Osceola County near Hersey and in Eaton County near Needmore, downing hundreds of trees and destroying several outbuildings. A derecho, a significant squall line, raced through Southeast Lower Michigan. Winds were estimated to 80 to 90 mph across portions of Tuscola, Oakland and Macomb Counties. In Southeast Michigan, nearly 300,000 homes and businesses lost power in the storm and total damage was nearly $100 million. The slideshow on the left has a few severe weather maps for the day. Click this link for a radar loop of the storms on this day.

2011 - The passage of a strong cold front spawned scattered severe thunderstorms over the eastern half of Upper Michigan in the early to midafternoon. Hail was from quarter to half dollar size (1 inch to 1.25 inch) 4 miles southwest of Melstrand. Grand Marais and 2 miles east of Shingleton both saw 1.75 inch (golf ball sized) hail. A 12-inch diameter tree was found snapped 11 miles south of the Munising Hanley airport. Numerous trees had three to six-inch diameter tree branches down 8 miles north of Moss Lake in Delta County and the top of an eight-inch diameter tree was snapped off 7 miles north of Moss Lake. A six-inch diameter tree was downed and a 10-inch diameter tree was uprooted 3 miles south of Newberry Luce Airport. In southwest Lower Michigan golf ball sized hail (1.75 inch) fell in Shelby and wind gusts between 60mph and 75mph brought down numerous trees and power lines. The slideshow on the left has a few severe weather maps for the day. Click this link for a radar loop of the storms on this day.

2012 - A very warm and unstable airmass produced a few severe thunderstorms over Baraga and Marquette counties in the evening. Some of these storms produced golf ball sized hail in the Marquette area, and a tornado occurred southwest of Big Bay at Eagle Mine. Storms also produced heavy rain over portions of central Upper Michigan from the evening of the 8th into the morning of the 9th. The observer near Munising measured 1.55 inches of rainfall. The observer near Arnold measured 1.70 inches of rainfall. The observer 15 miles south of Wetmore measured 1.82 inches of rainfall. The High Bridge RAWS station measured 1.88 inches of rainfall. The observer near Garden Corners measured 2.01 inches of rainfall. The observer in Marquette measured 1.80 inches of rainfall. The ground was white with 1 inch hail (quarter sized) in Skanee. A tornado snapped or uprooted numerous large trees causing some backroads in rural western Marquette County to become impassable about 9 miles southwest of Big Bay. The tornado was classified as an EF-1 with max winds estimated at 95 mph and caused $10,000 in damages. 1 inch hail (quarter sized) was reported at Tourist Park with circular motion noted in the thunderstorm clouds. Some downed tree branches were also observed at the Jacobetti Tech Center. Golf ball sized hail (1.75 inch) occurred at the River Park Sports Complex. Strong winds and golf ball sized hail caused damage to siding at the corner of Hawley and Fitch streets in Marquette. Golf ball sized hail (1.75 inch) busted out windows and damaged roofs on homes on the north side of Marquette and also dented vehicles causing $500,000 in damages. 1.5 inch (ping pong ball sized) hail was reported near the Ojibwa Casino east of Harvey. The observer near Cooks measured 2.06 inches of rainfall.

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