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Blowing and drifting snow, thunderstorms and arctic air

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Blowing and drifting snow, thunderstorms and arctic air 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 6.

1847 - The wood schooner Chippewa, while carrying furs and trade goods, was wrecked on Sawtooth reef near the tip of Keweenaw Peninsula in Lake Superior. Crew reportedly walked to Milwaukee. One of the earliest vessels operating on Superior, portaged around the Soo in 1845.

1867 - The wood schooner Bonnie Doon, while carrying lumber, was bound Saginaw for Chicago when she was driven ashore and wrecked at Bois Blanc Island in Lake Huron while encountering a gale in the Straits of Mackinac.

1906 - The wood, package freight and passenger Monarch, while carrying passengers and general merchandise, was lost in a blizzard during a gale, when she drove her prow right up into the woods on Blake Point at Isle Royale in Lake Superior. After her people escaped, she began to break up, then slipped backwards into deep water, where she still lies. One person of 61 aboard perished.

1958 - Arctic air settles into Lower Michigan during one of the coldest Decembers on record. High temperatures only reach a record cold 17° at both Grand Rapids and Muskegon. Flint also observes a record cold high temperature with 19°. More than two feet of lake effect snow piles up at Muskegon during the first half of the month.

1998 - The temperature rose to 69° in Detroit. This set the record for the maximum temperature for the month of December in Detroit. Flint set a daily record of 66° and Lansing 65°. This was followed by severe thunderstorms and wind damage across Southeast Michigan. The majority of the severe weather occurred near or south of Interstate 69. The most notable exception to this was a swath of wind damage across southern Sanilac County, from Marlette to Lexington. Barns and silos were destroyed near Marlette, and a home was deroofed.

2001 - A large spruce tree was blown down in Phoenix in the early morning. The storm that brought thunderstorms to Upper Michigan on the afternoon of the 5th also produced strong west winds across the Upper Peninsula later that night and early on the 6th. There were numerous reports of trees and branches blown down and power outages, especially over the exposed Keweenaw Peninsula. Storm force winds were reported on Lake Superior with the Stannard Rock lighthouse in south central Lake Superior reporting a gust to 72 knots.

2008 - An arctic cold front blasted portions of Upper Michigan with blizzard to near-blizzard conditions and occasional heavy snow on the 6th and 7th. The Ironwood Police reported an estimated foot of lake effect snow at some places across the city. Wind gusts to 30 mph also caused blowing and drifting of snow with visibilities of less than one-quarter mile at times.

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