Arctic high pressure, the biggest snowfall, and a tornado outbreak 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 6.
1882 - The earliest recorded Michigan tornado outbreak hit Southern Lower Michigan killing 10 people and injuring more than 50 others. Tornadoes struck Midland and Kalamazoo Counties, killing one person each. Four people were killed in a tornado that moved between Bedford and Charlotte. Three people were killed in Oakland County by a tornado that passed between Clyde and West Highland. A tornado that struck east of Dansville in Ingham County killed one person. A barn and home were destroyed by a tornado a mile west of Charlotte, but no one was killed.
1886 - The biggest snowfall ever recorded in Detroit in a 24 hour period occurred with 24.5”. This snow had a very high water content (2.43 inches) and was therefore very heavy and packed. This made it difficult for residents and services, such as police and medical, to travel anywhere. Amazingly, the next day temperatures rose to 40 degrees and up into the 50s later in the week.
1898 - The wood schooner, 4-mast Northwest, while carrying corn, was in tow of steamer Aurora, when she struck a submerged ice floe and sank in Big Stone Bay in the Straits of Mackinac in Lake Michigan. Aurora picked up the survivors.
1979 - Wind gusts to 60 mph during the morning at Sault Ste. Marie in heavy snow with whiteouts and power outages reported. Trees were blown down on houses, cars and garages. A state of emergency was declared for Sault Ste. Marie and Chippewa County due to the snowstorm with power outage causing the pumping station to quit working causing much of the water to be shut off to the city until noon on the 7th. It was the first time in 35 years that mail service was cancelled in Sault Ste. Marie due to the snowstorm. At Bay Mills, a 30 foot wall of ice came onshore during the snowstorm. The city of Marquette recorded a low temperature of 8° this morning following the snowstorm to hit the eastern U.P.
1988 – A powerful storm produces wind gusts to 75 mph around Chicago IL, and wind gusts to 92 mph at Goshen IN. The high winds created twenty-five foot waves on Lake Michigan. (Storm Data) (The National Weather Summary)
1997 - A strong cold front moved through with a line of thunderstorms producing wind gusts to 70 mph and causing widespread damage across much of southern Lower Michigan.
2003 – Arctic high pressure air settles into the Great Lakes from Canada producing both daily and monthly record cold temperatures. Values include Grand Rapids 18°, Muskegon 16°, Alpena -7°, Houghton Lake 2°, Marquette -9°, and Sault Ste. Marie 6°. For Alpena and Marquette these are the coldest temperatures ever recorded for the month of April.
2009 - A low pressure system tracking northeast through the Ohio River Valley produced a late season heavy snowfall across Southeast Michigan. Snowfall totals averaged 1 to 4 inches south of I-94, 4 to 8 inches between I-94 and I-69, and 1 to 4 inches north of I-69. Due to the heavy snow and winds to around 30 mph, tree branches came down which resulted in power outages focused along the M-59 corridor. Some of the higher snowfall included Grand Blanc 6.3”, Elba 7.0”, Cement City 6.0”, Howell 6.3”, Shelby Township 6.4”, White Lake 7.8”, Deckerville 6.0”, Ann Arbor 6.0”, and Romulus 6.7”.
2010 - A prolific hail storm moved from southern Livingston County to southern Macomb County. The storm produced 1.5 inch diameter hail in Brighton, 1.75 inch in Commerce, and 2.25 inch hail in Sterling Heights.