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Heavy snow, strong wind and record cold

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Heavy snow, strong wind and record cold top the list of Michigan weather events on this day in history. From the National Weather Service and Storm Prediction Center archives here are the events that happened on December 23.

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1941 - Lower Michigan is in the midst of a three day spell of mild weather with highs in the 50s from the 22nd to the 24th. The high temperature at Muskegon on this date is a record 54°.

1968 - The worst storm since the blizzard of '38 declared across the western U.P. from December 21st to the 23rd. Sault Ste. Marie and Marquette received a foot of snow. Houghton and Hancock had 21 inches, 35 inches of snow fell In Ironwood from the 21st to the 23rd with winds up to 45 mph.

1989 - Temperatures fall to record lows of -5° at Muskegon and -11° at Grand Rapids during the coldest December on record at both sites. Alpena observes a daily record low of -17° and a record -12° is recorded at Flint.

1993 - Arctic air entrenched over the Great Lake region continued to set off heavy lake effect snow across the snowbelts of Michigan. In upper Michigan the heaviest snowfall fell across the far west and from Alger County to Luce and Chippewa counties. Up to 21.0 inches of snow fell in a 24 hour period in Ontonagon County with around one foot falling in Alger, Luce and Chippewa counties. Snowfall in Marquette, Baraga and Gogebic counties of upper Michigan reported much less snowfall with around four to six inches.

1996 - Weather Forecast Office in Marquette recorded a daily snowfall record of 11.5 inches. Low pressure crossing Lower Michigan spread locally heavy snow to the north of its track across eastern upper Michigan. A southwest flow in advance of the low provided some lake enhancement across Mackinac County as winds were onshore for a time. Total snowfall across Mackinac County ranged from 8-14 inches. The snow started at noon on this day and ended in the morning on the 24th.
2004 - A strong storm system lifted northeast out of eastern Texas and moved through the Ohio Valley. Snow tapered off by early afternoon with most locations receiving between 6 to 10 inches. Strong northerly winds to 30 mph, and up to 45 mph near Lake Huron, also caused blizzard conditions with significant blowing and drifting of snow. Here are some of the higher snowfall totals: Burton 7.5 inches (Genesee), Caseville 8.0 inches (Huron), Dryden 7.5 inches (Lapeer), Deerfield 9.0 inches (Lenawee), New Baltimore 9.0 inches (Macomb), Dundee 8.0 inches (Monroe), Bloomfield Hills 9.3 inches (Oakland), Saline 8.2 inches (Washtenaw), Romulus 8.8 inches (Wayne), and Port Huron 10.0 inches (St Clair).

2006 - A storm system developing over the central Plains tracked into eastern Lake Superior early on the 23rd. This system dumped heavy snow over portions of western Upper Michigan from the evening of the 22nd continuing into the morning of the 23rd. Bessemer/Wakefield areas observed 12 inches of snowfall in 12 hours. Twin Lakes observed 11 inches of snow in 12 hours.

2007 - A strong low pressure system tracking through Upper Michigan brought strong wind and near-blizzard conditions to portions of Delta County. Strong winds in excess of 40 mph at times downed power lines and knocked out electricity to 96 customers in Escanaba. Near-blizzard conditions in snow and blowing snow also contributed to several accidents in Delta County. A spotter north of Ironwood reported a storm total snowfall of 15 inches while a spotter seven miles northeast of Marenisco measured 12 inches in 12 hours. Several traffic accidents were attributed to snow-packed highways from the storm in Gogebic County. In West Michigan this storm produced strong wind between roughly 4 AM and 7 AM on December 23.
Numerous trees and power lines were toppled by the wind and the National Weather Service reports the following wind gusts:
78 mph in Muskegon
71 mph in Greenville
70 mph near Lawton
67 mph in Kalamazoo
64 mph in Grand Rapids

See the slideshow on the top of the story for images of the day.
Click this link to see a radar loop of the storms.



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