Heavy snow, record highs and a collapsed arena 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 January 17.
1952 - Temperatures rise to record highs of 61° at Battle Creek, 59° at Lansing, 56° at Grand Rapids, 63° in Detroit, and 60° at Flint.
1979 - The Torch Lake Ice Arena collapsed in Lake Linden under the heavy weight of snow on its roof. Three men were blown out of the building and were unhurt when it collapsed.
1982 - For the second time in a week, extremely cold arctic air drops temperatures to record low levels. The low of -9° at Muskegon is followed by an afternoon high of 7°. It is even colder away from Lake Michigan where record lows include Detroit and Flint with -15°, Marquette with -25°, and Sault Ste. Marie with -24°. Some of the high temperatures remain below zero during the day. Lansing has a high of -1° and Battle Creek maxes out at -3°, Grand Rapids 3°, Alpena -3°, Detroit and Flint -1°, Houghton Lake -2°, Marquette -6° and Sault Ste. Marie -9°. For Alpena this is the coldest high temperature ever recorded for the month of January.
2004 - The city of Sebewaing in Huron County received 6.0 inches of snow from a passing snowstorm.
2005 - Arctic air combined with the passage of a low pressure trough brought heavy lake effect snow showers into portions of northern Upper Michigan on the night of 16th and morning of the 17th. Poor visibility in heavy snow and blowing snow resulted in school cancellations across the Ontonagon Area School District on the 17th. A spotter in Rockland reported a 12-hour snowfall amount of 8 inches. Spotters also reported heavy lake effect snow over eastern Alger and Luce counties. Twenty-four hour totals included 13 inches at Two Heart in Luce County and 10 inches near Grand Marais in Alger County.
2009 - A clipper low pressure system strengthened as it approached Michigan from the northwest. A localized band of lake enhanced snow affected part of the Lake Michigan coastline in Mackinac County near Curtis and Gould City. Snowfall amounts were around 10 inches, with locally near 15 inches in Curtis. A spotter ten miles east of Manistique measured 14 inches of snow in 10 hours. The observer reported that highways were snow-packed and slippery, including Highway US-2. Snow overspread southeast Michigan around 10 a.m. and continued into the night. Twenty-One hour snowfall totals averaged 4 to 7 inches along and north of I-94 with a few isolated 8 inch reports north of I-69. A low pressure system tracking from Wisconsin eastward across Mid-Michigan was responsible for the snow. Some of the higher snowfall totals included Auburn (Bay County) 8.0 inches, Pontiac (Oakland) 7.2 inches, and Fairgrove (Tuscola) 8.0 inches.