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Blizzard conditions, brutal cold and mild highs

Almanac 4 January 2014 Click on image for a larger view
Almanac 4 January 2014 Click on image for a larger view
Grand Rapids Weather Examiner

Blizzard conditions, brutal cold and mild highs 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 January 4.

1912 - Marquette had a high temperature of only .

1981 - Arctic air is firmly entrenched across Lower Michigan with extremely cold temperatures prevailing for the first half of the month. Eight of the first twelve days of the month fall below zero at Lansing. This is the coldest morning with a low of -29°. This is the all-time low for the month of January at Lansing and the coldest temperature of the 20th century there. The temperature falls to -20° at Grand Rapids, and -6° at Muskegon. Other records around the state include Mount Pleasant -15°, Alpena -19°, Detroit -12°, Flint -16°, Houghton Lake -26°, and Sault Ste. Marie -32.

1997 - The temperature rose to 61° in Flint and in Detroit. The normal high temperature for January 4 is only 30 degrees! In West Michigan record high temperatures include Grand Rapids with 60°, Muskegon and Lansing with 61°.

1999 - A significant snowstorm wound down in the U.P. that started on the afternoon of the 2nd. An intense winter storm that tracked through Lower Michigan brought considerable amounts of low level moisture, cold temperatures, and strong northeast winds to Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Significant synoptic system snow was enhanced by lake effect snow as well. Near blizzard conditions developed in snow and blowing snow with the strong northeast winds. Reported snowfall totals from the storm included: Marquette 15.9, Marquette County Arpt 30.8, Bruce Crossing 13.0, Champion 14.0, Houghton County Arpt 17.6, Two Heart 16.0, Newberry Airport 9.4, Newberry School 8.3, Shingleton 13.6, Silver City 13.8, Wetmore 14.1, and Watton 12.7 inches. From the same storm, West Michigan is digging out from 1 to 2 feet of snow, with drifts of several feet as the Blizzard of 1999 slowly winds down. Lake effect snow will continue the next several days, however.

2009 - A low pressure trough moving through the area produced heavy snow and blowing snow over western Upper Michigan from the 3rd into the morning of the 5th. Light snow mixed with sleet and freezing rain in south central portions of Upper Michigan on the 3rd and 4th and caused travel problems there. The observer eight miles southwest of Ontonagon measured nine inches of wet snow during the event. The Mohawk observer reported a storm total snowfall exceeding 15 inches with inch-per-hour snowfall rates at times. The observer four miles northeast of Calumet measured ten inches of snow in 12 hours. West winds gusts over 35 mph on the evening of the 4th also caused near blizzard conditions in snow and blowing snow.