Blizzard conditions, freezing rain and a March heat wave top the list of Michigan weather events on this day in history. From the National Weather Service and Storm Prediction Center (SPC) archives here are the events that happened on March 13.
1904 - A snowstorm drops up to a foot of snow across Lower Michigan with record daily snowfall of 10.5 inches at Grand Rapids, 10.0 inches at Lansing and 8.0 inches at Muskegon. This snow would contribute to some of the worst floods on record in southwest Lower Michigan when it melts off during the last week of the month.
1988 – Squalls in the Great Lakes Region continued to produce heavy snow in northwest Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, and produced up to 14 inches of snow in northwest Ohio, Poplar, WI reported 27 of snow in two days. (The National Weather Summary) (Storm Data) In Michigan, Copper Harbor receives a record 14 inches.
1997 – Low pressure tracked across Southeast Lower Michigan. The storm brought widespread precipitation, mostly in the form of freezing rain, to Southeast Michigan from late on the 13th into the morning of the 14th. Total precipitation amounts ranged from around an inch to nearly two and a half inches. In the Detroit Metropolitan area, the ice storm resulted in power outages to over 425,000 homes and businesses; one of the largest outages in history. Several thousand residents were without power for as long as 4 to 5 days. In addition to power lines, falling trees damaged dozens of cars and houses throughout the area. On the north side of this disturbance a snowstorm occurred in the U.P. A foot of snow fell in Escanaba and in the Iron Mountain area while WFO Marquette had a daily record snowfall of 26.2 inches of snow while the city of Marquette had 18 inches of snow and Big Bay had over 2 feet of snow. A strong low pressure system moved northeast through Iowa, southeast Wisconsin and northern Lower Michigan on the 14th and 15th. Heavy snow began on the afternoon of the 13th across south central Upper Michigan and overspread the entire region overnight. The snow continued until the morning of the 15th. Lake enhancement with northeast winds across Lake Superior, greatly increased snow totals over parts of northern Upper Michigan. The result was 32.4 inches of new snow at the Marquette County Airport. In a 24 hour period between 7 pm on the 13th and 7 pm on the 14th, the airport received 28 inches of snow, which broke the 24 hour snowfall record of 25.4 inches set on March 18-19, 1986.
1998 - Cold air blowing across the relatively warmer waters of Lake Superior brought heavy lake effect snow to scattered locations across West and Central Upper Michigan. Snow totals included Ironwood 16.7 inches, Ramsay 13.5 inches, Paint Lake (25 NW of Iron River) 11.8 inches, Bergland 11.7 inches, Wetmore 11.0 inches, Rockland 9.4 inches, Marquette County Airport 9.4 inches and Silver City 9.0 inches.
2004 - Widespread snow fell overnight on the 13th and the early morning of the 14th as low pressure tracked across northern Lake Superior. The heaviest snowfall amounts were over south central and eastern Upper Michigan. Snowfall totals include 12 inches at Gladstone, 10 inches at Wetmore and Cooks, and 8 inches near Grand Marais and Perronville and at Gwinn, Channing and Newberry. A gusty southwest wind also resulted in extensive blowing and drifting snow, compounding the impact of this late winter storm.
2006 - A low pressure system developing over the central Plains deepened rapidly as it moved across eastern Upper Michigan on the evening of the 13th. As a result of this strong storm, intense convective snow and blizzard conditions enveloped much of west and north central Upper Michigan on the 13th and 14th. Higher terrain locations in Gogebic, Ontonagon, Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga and Marquette counties generally received one to two feet of snow in a 24-hour period. The greatest storm total accumulations included 33 inches in Rockland, 32 inches in Painesdale and 21 inches at the National Weather Service in Marquette. Embedded thunderstorms associated with the storm initially resulted in snowfall rates of one to two inches per hour at some locations on the 13th. Heavy sleet accumulations also occurred at Iron Mountain (one half-inch) and Two Heart in Luce County (one inch). The heavy wintry mix and blizzard conditions caused some road closures, numerous motor vehicle accidents and closed schools area wide, including Northern Michigan University in Marquette and Finlandia College in Houghton. Blizzard conditions resulted in plows being pulled off Highway 41 from Calumet to Mohawk during the evening of the 13th and early morning of the 14th. Power outages also occurred from strong winds downing trees on power lines. The county sheriff reported that the storm cancelled all activities across Ontonagon County.
2012 - Temperatures soar to record highs as an extreme spell of warm weather begins for the month of March. Grand Rapids sets a record with their earliest 80 degree temperature on record. Other temperature records include Muskegon 77°, Lansing 79°, Flint 76°, and Marquette 63°.