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Heavy snow, flooding and record heat

Almanac 16 April 2014 Click on image for a larger view
Almanac 16 April 2014 Click on image for a larger viewGrand Rapids Weather Examiner

Heavy snow, flooding and record heat top the list of Michigan weather events on this day in history. From the National Weather Service archives here are the weather events that happened on April 16.

1921 – Houghton Lake receives their greatest daily April snowfall as a storm deposits 13.0”.

1961 - From 6 to 12 inches of snow falls across southwest Lower Michigan. The storm drops a record 11.8” in Grand Rapids, 11” in Muskegon, 4.0” in Lansing and 2.5” in Flint. This is the heaviest April snowfall on record for Grand Rapids.

1976 - A week long heat wave baked the mid-Atlantic and northeast. Washington sweltered under temperatures as warm as the mid-90s from the 16th through the 21st.

Locations that reported record highs in Michigan included: Grand Rapids with 84°, Alpena 86°, Benton Harbor 86°, Detroit 85°, Flint 82°, Houghton Lake 80°, Marquette 80°, Ste. St. Marie 76°, and Muskegon 81°. Many of these records will be broken in 2002.

1980 - A record low temperature of occurred at Weather Forecast Office in Marquette.

1992 - Wayne County was hit by an F2 tornado at 4:03PM.

1994 - Snow of 6 to 10 inches fell over extreme western upper Michigan. Heaviest snow of 10 inches fell over Gogebic County. Northwest winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts of 40 to 50 mph caused considerable blowing and drifting of snow.

2001 - Low pressure moved south from Canada across the Great Lakes region. Unseasonably cold air wrapped into this system from the north, creating an area of heavy snowfall across eastern Upper Michigan. The snowfall began early in the morning and continued into the evening hours. By 8 pm, 12 hour snowfall totals of 8 to 11 inches were common across eastern Chippewa County.

2002 - High temperature records were shattered in 82 cities across the East and Midwest as spring turned into summer over much of the United States. This followed on the heels of 81 records that fell the day before across the Plains and Midwest. The abnormal heat was the result of a jet stream pushed way to the north for the time of year. In Michigan the records include Alpena 90°, Pellston 88°, Flint 87°, Grand Rapids 86°, Detroit 86°, Lansing 86°, Houghton Lake 85°, Marquette 83°, and Ste. St. Marie 83°. For Alpena this is the warmest April day on record. This warm air mass invaded the U.P. causing a massive meltdown of snow and led to record flooding. The Montreal River flooded 250 to 300 feet from the riverbank into Ironwood and rose across U.S. 2, making it impossible to cross into Hurley, WI. The highway was also flooded in Wakefield, effectively creating an island for about a week. Wakefield was inundated with Sunday Lake flooding causing school to be evacuated and causing homes to be flooded.

2011 - A low pressure system lifting from Wisconsin across eastern Lake Superior and then into Ontario brought periods of freezing rain and moderate snow to portions of Upper Michigan from the 16th into the 17th. Observers from Newberry to Two Heart measured from 0.10 inch to 0.30 inch of freezing rain on the morning of the 16th. The Luce County Sheriff reported a widespread glaze on elevated surfaces as ice accumulation caused minor damage to tree limbs. One broken tree limb fell on a power line and started a fire.