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An F4 tornado, a late season snowstorm, a wake low and a fire

Almanac 9 May 2013 Click on image for a larger view
Almanac 9 May 2013 Click on image for a larger view
Grand Rapids Weather Examiner

An F4 tornado, a late season snowstorm, a wake low and a fire 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 May 9.

1857- A late season snowstorm at Eagle Harbor. Early morning temperature of 46° fell to 28° by mid-morning with 2-3 inches of snow.

1896 - April came in at 5 degrees above average, May came in excess of 7 degrees with dry conditions. This led to a fire that broke out in the L'anse Lumber Company sawmill in the middle of the afternoon. The fire spread quickly in 10 minutes and got out of control. The sawmill was destroyed and the flames spread to the lumber dock where 3 million board feet of dry lumber were consumed. 20 businesses were burned and about that many houses were destroyed. Hundreds of people were left homeless in L'anse.

1907 - The wood steam fishing tug, W.L. Davis, wrecked and was a total loss near Pt. Maimanse, Ontario in a gale on Lake Superior.

1908 - Wildfires broke out from Houghton to Baraga. The first fire was at the Portage Entry at Jacobsville. It destroyed a large amount of property and caused smoke to hang over the lake miles from shore. The smoke was thick enough to cause boats to wait a while before attempting to go into the Portage Canal.

1923 - A very late season winter storm dropped up to a foot of snow across Lower Michigan. Records were set for the snowiest May day at many places including Flint with 12”, Lansing with 11.5”, Muskegon with 5” and Detroit with 6”. Grand Rapids observes 5.5”, tying the snowiest May day record set in 1902. Widespread damage was also reported with trees and power lines snapping under the heavy wet snow. Read more here: late season snowstorm.

1927 - About 40 farm buildings are damaged or destroyed as a tornado moved from near Loomis in Isabella County, across southeast Clare County and into Gladwin County. Another tornado destroyed two barns and damaged two homes three miles west of Walker.

1960 - From May 6th-9th, 8.8 inches of snow fell in Marquette, 14.5 inches fell in Ishpeming with 3-4 foot drifts, 6 inches fell at Bergland Dam and 9.3 inches fell in Champion. 5.3 inches of snow fell at Ironwood from May 7th-9th. Houghton still had 3 inches of snow on the ground from the snowstorm from May 6th-7th. The snowy season ended in Marquette with 188.1 inches in the winter of 1959 and spring of 1960 with the last measureable snowfall that snow year.

1964 - An F4 tornado struck the township of Chesterfield in Macomb County, just north of Detroit. This tornado killed 11, making it the second-deadliest tornado on record in southeastern Michigan, and injured over 400 along its 3.3 mile-long, ½ mile-wide path. It was one of 15 violent (F4 or greater) tornadoes on record in southeastern Michigan (records date back to 1950). Read more here: 50th Anniversary of The Chesterfield Tornado of May 8, 1964

1990 - 8.2 inches of daily record snowfall of wet, heavy snow fell at Weather Forecast Office in Marquette with a daily record 0.94 inches of liquid equivalent precipitation.

2000 - Plymouth received 1.75 inch hail at 7:05pm and then had winds at 69 mph at 7:33pm, which resulted in $135,000 in property damage.

2002 - An 86 mph wind gust reported at Phoenix. A deepening low pressure system produced high winds over much of Michigan's Upper Peninsula overnight on May 9th and 10th as it tracked just north of Lake Superior. The Keweenaw Peninsula saw the strongest winds with a gust of 86 mph reported on top of the ridge at Phoenix.

2005 - A six-inch diameter tree snapped off 3 miles northeast of Randville in the late afternoon in a severe thunderstorm. 1.00 inch hail (quarter sized) fell 1 mile south of Ishpeming.

2011 - A wake low formed by a thunderstorm complex moving through Wisconsin resulted in strong winds over western Lake Superior in the afternoon. Strong southeast winds from a wake low knocked down numerous trees near Little Girls Point. Winds gusted over 40 knots at the Great Lakes Observing System site in Saxon Harbor at this same time.

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