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Large hail, destroyed barns, and cold air

Radar image 6:01 PM 23 May 2004
Radar image 6:01 PM 23 May 2004

Large hail, destroyed barns, and cold air 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 events that happened on May 23.

Almanac 23 May 2014 Click on image for a larger view
Grand Rapids Weather Examiner

1963 - The overnight temperature dropped to 28° in Flint, which is the record low temperature for the day. Interestingly enough, the very next year, in 1964, the daytime temperature rose to 87°, setting the record high temperature for the date. This high temperature record was equaled and thus superseded in 2007. Other cities see record lows for the May 23, including Grand Rapids with 30°, Marquette 29°, and Sault Ste. Marie 28°.

1966 - A barn was destroyed by a tornado near Gobles in Van Buren County.

1973 - A tornado destroyed three barns and damaged an industrial building in Winn in Isabella County.

2004 - Severe thunderstorms rolled across all of Lower Michigan. One storm producing a 70 mph wind gust at Detroit Metro Airport which caused damage to a building under construction and one injury. There are numerous reports of downed trees and power lines across the state. Large hail reports include 1.75” (golf ball size) hail in Charlotte. The storms dropped 1.39” on rain on Flint, 1.41” on Saginaw and a record 1.69” on Detroit,. Other daily rainfall records include Alpena with 1.46”, Houghton Lake 1.26” and Marquette with 1.26”. That was the last of the heavy rainfall that pushed May of 2004 to the wettest May on record (Detroit - 8.46”, Flint - 8.19”, Saginaw - 8.14”). As a result, widespread flooding across Southeast Michigan caused over 100 million dollars in damages. Click here for a radar loop of the storms on this day. The slideshow on the left has a few severe weather maps for the day.

2010 - A record high temperature was set at Weather Forecast Office in Marquette with a high of 88°.

2011 – A weak low pressure at the surface and aloft helped spin up a weak tornado in the Helmer Bay portion of Manistique Lake in southern Luce County at 1715 EST. After formation, the weak tornado then moved south toward Curtis in Mackinac County. The tornado/waterspout was not associated with a thunderstorm. The tornado touched down 4.57 miles south southwest of McMillan Corner and moved southward crossing into the Mackinac County portion of Big Manistique Lake 5.88 miles south southwest of McMillan Corner. The tornado then continued southward an additional mile into Mackinac County. It was on the ground for a mile, damage path was 50 yards wide and was rated an EF0.

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