Golf ball size hail, a foot of snow and subzero temperatures 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 weather events that happened on April 5.
1947 - Record rain falls across Michigan as a strong storm approaches from the southwest. Records include Grand Rapids with 1.87”, Muskegon 1.17”, Lansing 2.60”, Detroit 2.59”, Flint 2.05”, and Sault Ste. Marie 1.22”. For Lansing this is the highest daily precipitation ever recorded for the month of April
1979 - Snowfall rates up to 3 inches an hour happened in the evening at Sault Ste. Marie in a blinding snowstorm.
1982 - Arctic air pours into Lower Michigan in the wake of a snowstorm and lake effect snows pile up over a foot across western Lower Michigan. The 12 inches of snow at Muskegon makes this the snowiest April day on record there. The snowstorm hit Southeast Michigan in the evening hours and continued into the 6th. The storm moved across the Ohio River Valley and left Detroit with 7.4 inches of snow, Flint with 7.1 inches, and Saginaw with 4.0 inches. This storm is associated with some very cold air. Record lows for the date include Muskegon with 15°, Alpena 5°, Houghton Lake 3° and Sault Ste. Marie -2°. On this day Grand Rapids sets a record for the coldest high temperatures for the date with 27°. Muskegon also establishes a record with the high only climbing to 23°. For Muskegon this is the coldest high temperature for the month of April. The record cold weather continues until April 8th.
1995 - Flint had a record low of 13° for the day. The day before, on the 4th, Flint had the same record low of 13° for that day. Grand Rapids also sees a record low for the 5th with 12°.
2003 - A low pressure system followed the stalled frontal boundary east across the southern Great Lakes and brought another round of snow to Upper Michigan late on April 4th into the 5th. This time, the heaviest snow fell over south central and eastern Upper Michigan. Eight to twelve inches of new snow accumulated in a strip from Norway and Menominee through Escanaba to Seney and Newberry before snow diminished during the morning on April 5th. Snowfall decreased sharply to the northwest of this band, and snowfall amounts of 3 inches or less were reported over northwest Upper Michigan. On the morning of the 5th, snowfall reports included 8 inches in Iron River, Iron Mountain, Munising and Seney, 9 inches in Gulliver, and Carlshend, and 10 inches in Menominee, Escanaba and Newberry. Rapid River measured 12 inches.
2007 - An intense storm system tracking from the Plains into the Great Lakes dumped heavy lake enhanced snow across much of Upper Michigan from the 3rd into the 7th. Blizzard to near-blizzard conditions also occurred from the 4th continuing into the 5th closing many schools and businesses throughout the area. An observer at Ironwood measured 24 inches of snow from the 3rd into the morning of the 5th. There was a break in snowfall through much of the 5th into the afternoon of the 6th. More snow then fell late on the 6th into midday on the 7th with an additional 5 inches at Ironwood and 8 to 10 inches at Wakefield. North winds gusted over 30 mph at times on the 4th and caused considerable blowing and drifting of snow and hazardous travel conditions. Some schools closed on the 4th, including Gogebic Community College. A few minor accidents were reported due to the snow and ice-packed roads.
2010 - Severe thunderstorm winds in excess of 80 mph and hail up to golf ball size hit southern Kalamazoo County from Schoolcraft to Vicksburg. Siding on the western sides of many homes was shredded by the wind driven large hail. The slideshow on the top has a few severe weather maps for the day.