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A snow storm, icy water, and record cold

Almanac 1 April 2014 Click on image for a larger view
Almanac 1 April 2014 Click on image for a larger view
Grand Rapids Weather Examiner

A snow storm, icy water, and record cold top the list of Michigan weather events on this day in history. From the National Weather Service archives here are the weather events that happened on April 1.

1920 - 5 days after a flood began in Manistique, water was still sweeping into the west side of Manistique. 70 families were rendered homeless. The Paper mill was flooded on the first floor with 2 feet of water. The raging flood in Manistique washed out foundations and sent 125,000 feet of lumber into Lake Michigan which wiped out the Goodwillie Brothers box factory.

1923 - Winter persists into April as temperatures fall to a record cold at Lansing and at Muskegon. Alpena dips to -6°, Detroit 14°, Flint , Houghton Lake -15°, Saginaw , and Sault Ste. Marie -13°. For Sault Ste. Marie, Houghton Lake and Saginaw these are the daily record lows as well as the monthly record low temperature. This day also marked the fifth day in a row (March 28-April 1) of record low temperatures in Saginaw. Sault Ste. Marie observed 7 days in a row with record low temperatures, at or below 0°.

1929 - Alpena observes their greatest daily April snowfall with 12.5”.

1960 - TIROS-1 (Television Infrared Observation Satellite) was the first weather satellite. This satellite lasted only 78 days in a polar orbit. The first image from it was a fuzzy picture of thick bands and clusters of clouds over the United States.

1963 - Ontonagon had a high temperature of 70°. The first heavy ice flow came down the Ontonagon River and jammed up against the railroad bridge causing flooding over the island between the river and slough and throughout the center of Ontonagon spreading icy water from 2-3 feet deep. Ontonagon had boat houses demolished along with boats due to flooding and boats were swept out into Lake Superior or wrecked by the ice. Damage to the city was estimated at over a half million dollars in 1963.

1970 - An April Fool's Day snowstorm drops 10.2” of snow on Lansing. This is the greatest daily snowfall for the month of April at Lansing. Another 7” of snow falls the next day.

1987 - An F0 tornado touched down briefly in the early afternoon during a snow squall on the south shore of Whitefish Bay on Lake Superior about 5 miles NNW of Brimley, MI. A mobile home had its roof ripped off and insulation sucked from the walls. The tornado was on the ground for 0.10 mile and the damage width was 10 yards and it caused $2500 worth of property damage.

2008 - A low pressure system originating over the Plains deepened as it moved into the Western Great Lakes on March 31st. Snow mixed with rain and sleet over east and south central counties of Upper Michigan on the afternoon of the 31st and then fell heavy at times through the evening of March 31st into April 1st. The combination of heavy snow and north winds gusting as high as 50 mph near the Lake Superior shore led to blizzard conditions as well as numerous power outages over Marquette and Alger counties. Weather Forecast Office in Marquette recorded record daily snowfall of 15.8 inches and record daily water equivalent of 1.83 inches. Observers at Rainbow Lodge and Newberry measured eight inches of snow in 12 hours. Storm total snowfall amounts of six to nine inches were reported across Keweenaw County ending on the morning of the 1st. North winds gusting over 30 mph at times also caused considerable blowing and drifting of snow.

2010 – Record warmth across the state, both for the warm low and mild high temperatures. For the minimum temperatures, records include Grand Rapids with 52° and Muskegon with 57°. Even more record highs fall with readings that include Grand Rapids with 82°, Muskegon 78°, Lansing 80°, Detroit 80°, Flint 79°, and Houghton Lake 79°.