Blizzard conditions, plunging temperatures and mild weather 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 December 16.
1906 - The wooden steam tug, Adventurer, broke her moorings and went adrift in a gale in Lake Superior. Driven on rocky shore near Ontonagon and pounded to pieces. No one was aboard at the time.
1951 - The temperature dropped to a record low of -11° in the city of Saginaw for the day. The very next day, Saginaw reached another record low: -5°. Detroit plunges to a record low of -3° on this day. Flint observes a record -6° and then -7° on the seventeenth.
1984 - Mild weather prevails with record highs of 61° at Lansing and Grand Rapids. Other record around the state include Muskegon with 58°, Alpena 57°, Detroit 65°, Flint 62°, Houghton Lake 55°, Marquette 47°, and Sault Ste. Marie 49°.
1989 - Persistent cold weather continues during of the coldest Decembers on record in Lower Michigan. A record low of -2° is recorded at Grand Rapids while another 5” of snow piles up at Muskegon, contributing to a monthly total of 77” there.
1998 - A trace of snow fell at Detroit. While a trace of snowfall is not usually a significant event in the middle of December, this was the first trace of snowfall for the 1998-1999 winter season, making this date the latest observed first snowfall.
2007 - A deepening storm center moved toward the lower Great Lakes and brought widespread heavy amounts of snow. Snowfall ranged from generally 6 to 10 inches throughout much of Southeast Lower Michigan. Strong gusty winds of 35 to 45 mph created 1 to 3 foot drifts with near blizzard conditions across much of Southeast Lower Michigan. Blizzard conditions were reported across the eastern Thumb Region from the late morning through much of the afternoon, mainly along M-25 near the Lake Huron shoreline.
2008 - Passage of a strong Arctic cold front caused blizzard to near-blizzard conditions over western Upper Michigan on the 15th. Dangerously cold wind chills also developed on the 15th and 16th with the arrival of colder air in the wake of the front. The Ironwood AWOS reported wind chill values between 25 and 35 below zero through the period. Temperatures plunged into the 15 to 20 below zero range across much of the county on the morning of the 16th as schools closed in Ironwood, Wakefield and Watersmeet-Marenisco.