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A tremendous seiche, a giant hailstone downpour, and a lightning death

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A tremendous seiche, a giant hailstone downpour, a lightning death and a shipwreck top the list of Michigan weather events on this day in history. From the National Weather Service archives here events that happened on June 16.

1858 - The wood brig, 2-mast Shakespeare, while carrying lumber, went ashore on Pilot Island in Lake Michigan, probably in a gale, and broke up by June 26, when the brig Pilgrim arrived to strip her.

1939 - A giant hailstone downpour hit the Gogebic range early in the morning. Hail the size of marbles to larger than baseballs covered the ground and didn't completely melt until noon in some places. Hail eight inches in circumference was found shortly after the storm ended in Hurley, WI. At one greenhouse in Ironwood, MI, an estimated 800 panes of glass were shattered. Ironwood, Bessemer and Wakefield all reported extensive damage to businesses and homes. Automobiles throughout the Gogebic range were badly dented with gardens and crops sustaining extensive damage from the hail. A dozen barns and outbuildings were demolished, telephone and electric lines were brought down in Trout Creek as severe winds from the thunderstorm hit an hour later after moving through the Gogebic Range. 37 trees were uprooted on Main Street. The trees were about 2 feet in diameter and they tore out large sections of sidewalks and displaced sewer pipe. This storm continued to march across the U.P. and later hit a house in Newberry with lightning causing a mother and her two children to be treated for shock. The lightning destroyed the electrical equipment inside their house. A tremendous seiche occurred with the severe thunderstorm that moved across the U.P. this day. This seiche pushed and pulled the water of Lake Superior in and out of Marquette Bay at 30 minute intervals and began shortly after 1030 a.m. The seiche rose and fell 5 feet over several hours. While this was occurring, the weather bureau at Marquette observed a very jumpy barometer with a change of 0.3 inches in 15 minutes. Docks, fish houses and small boats sustained extensive damage in Marquette. Farther west, the highway between L'Anse and Baraga was closed as surging water brought debris from the lake over the road. On the north shore of Lake Superior, Canadian officials reported a rise of 8 feet in 20 minutes in the waters of Heron Bay. It took until the next morning for the lake to return to normal levels in Heron Bay.

1947 – Cool weather settles into the Great Lakes with temperatures dipping into the 30s. Record lows for the date include Grand Rapids with 39° and Houghton Lake 32°.

1969 - A severe thunderstorm produced a 58 mph wind gust 1.3 miles east of Negaunee in the early evening.

1974 - Cool and cloudy weather prevailed for the middle of June with high temperatures only in the middle 50s across the region on both June 16th and 17th. On this day Grand Rapids only sees a high temperature of 55°, Muskegon 53°, Houghton Lake 56°, Lansing 57°, Detroit 63°, and near Marquette a chilly 49°.

1998 - Lightning struck and killed a person at 6PM in Wayne County.

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