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Autumn chill, a waterspout, shipwrecks and a tornado

Almanac 28 August 2014
Almanac 28 August 2014
Grand Rapids Weather Examiner

Autumn chill, a waterspout, shipwrecks and a tornado top the list of Michigan weather events on this day in history. From the National Weather Service archives here are the events that happened on August 28.

1863 - The wood sidewheel steamer, passenger and package freight Sunbeam, while carrying passengers, was caught in a gale above Eagle Harbor while in company of the steamer Michigan. She broke up and foundered offshore between Ontonagon and Portage Lake near Keweenaw Point in Lake Superior. Her 29 crew members took to her small lifeboats and were all lost except the wheelsman who had forsaken a boat for a piece of floating wreckage. He sustained himself for over 30 hours on the contents of a large bottle of port wine that had drifted near. Built with an unusual and unsuccessful Wittaker side propeller propulsion system, which was removed after its first year of service in favor of a standard sidewheel powerplan.

1870 - The wood scow-schooner, Chaska, was wrecked near Duluth in a northwesterly gale.

1898 - The wood ship Superior, while carrying iron ore, was bound Escanaba for Toledo, when she opened her seams in heavy waves during a gale and began to roll terribly and take on water. She let her barge Sandusky go and made for the Beavers. She was run into the shallows on the north side of Gull Island, where she quickly broke up 1 mile west of Gull Island Light, Beaver Islands in Lake Michigan. The crew remained with her for quite a while, but when the ship began to fall apart they abandoned and made a hard pull to St James in her yawl

1982 - A strong cold front pushes through and temperatures tumble to 36° at Lansing, Grand Rapids 42°, Detroit 44°, Flint 39°, Houghton Lake 33°, Marquette 36°, and Sault Ste. Marie 37°. These all set a new record lows for the date. Some of these records are tied or broken just four year later.

1986 - There is an autumnal chill as morning lows fall to a record low of 41° at Grand Rapids, and Detroit 43°. Flint dips to 39° and 36° at Lansing, both tying the record low set only four years before.

1992 - The temperature rose to only 59° in Lansing and Flint setting new records for the coolest highs for the date! Houghton Lake and Alpena only see a high temperature of 54°, setting a record for the coolest highs ever recorded in the month of August at both cities.

2003 - An F0 waterspout over Lake Superior moved onshore at Silver Island just off the shore from Eagle Harbor in the late morning and was 10 miles WNW of Copper Harbor. The tornado had a damage path of 0.1 mile and was 10 yards wide. The tornado knocked down a tree on the island before it dissipated.

2007 - A small line of thunderstorms produced wind damage in central Chippewa County. A shed was damaged, and several large tree limbs were downed in the mid-evening 3 miles south of Rudyard. Earlier, severe thunderstorms brought trees down across Escanaba, amount and sizes unknown. Widespread power outage with $4000 in property damage, a tree was downed 2 miles northwest of Iron Mountain in the late afternoon. Numerous trees and power lines came down along County Road 607 and near Highway M-95 in Breitung Township. A home along County Road 607 sustained damage when a tree fell on it with $12,000 in property damage and a tree was downed in Hardwood.

2013 - An EF0 tornado touched down near Brighton, Michigan. The path width was 0.3 miles wide and 2.8 miles long. Peak winds were estimated to be near 80 mph. Numerous trees were uprooted and minor siding damage to homes occurred.