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Large hail, tornadoes, and chilly highs

Almanac 11 May 2013 Click on image for a larger view
Almanac 11 May 2013 Click on image for a larger view
Grand Rapids Weather Examiner

Large hail, tornadoes, and chilly highs 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 May 11.

1922 - Muskegon and Grand Rapids both set records for the warmest low temperature for the date. Grand Rapids has a low temperature of 66° and Muskegon also observes a low of 66°. Grand Rapids goes on to see a record high of 89° and Flint sees a steamy record of 90°.

1953 - The steel, bulk freight Henry Steinbrenner, while carrying iron ore, foundered in a 75 mph gale when her hatch covers blew off. She filled and sank quickly off Isle Royale in Lake Superior. Part of her crew had abandoned before she went down. 17 members of the 30 member crew perished.

1956 - A tornado hit the northeast edge of Kalamazoo, damaging 15 homes and destroying several barns.

1966 – Muskegon and Grand Rapids both set records for the coolest high temperature for the date. Muskegon only sees a high of 42° and Grand Rapids also records a high of 42°.

1974 - An F3 tornado moved through Livingston County at 5:31PM, near the community of Hell. This tornado only traveled less than a mile, but was responsible for one fatality, 3 destroyed houses and 15 damaged houses.

1990 - A record low temperature of 23° occurred at Weather Forecast Office in Marquette because of snow on the ground from the big snowstorm of May 9th-10th.

1996 - The all-time seasonal snowfall record of 283.1 inches in the snow season of 1995-1996 in Ironwood broke the previous record of 255 inches in 1970-71 where the average snowfall is 171.8 inches. 0.3 inch of snow fell this day, the last measureable snow for the season there.

2003 - 3 to 5+ inches of rain fell in watersheds of most rivers in the northwest third of the U.P. Flooding soon followed.

2011 - A warm front over Wisconsin generated severe thunderstorms with large hail over portions of western Upper Michigan. Lightning struck and damaged the steeple tower of the Keweenaw Heritage Center at St. Anne's located in Calumet Township in the early morning. This caused $20,000 in damage. 1 inch hail (quarter sized) fell 3 miles northeast of Mapleton in Iron County. Later in the morning, a large area of showers and thunderstorms impacted Northern Michigan for much of the day. The storms produced isolated severe weather and excessive rainfall, along with an area of high winds associated with a wake low trailing well behind the storms. A 74 mph wind gust was measured by the Great Lakes Observation System site at Big Bay. 1 inch hail (quarter sized) fell 7.5 miles northwest of Daggett at 1515 CST. A wake low, trailing well behind a large area of thunderstorms, produced damaging winds near Sault Ste. Marie. A gust of 55 mph was measured at Sanderson Field in the Sault. Over two dozen trees were downed along South Mackinac Trail, and scattered trees were downed elsewhere in the area. A tree fell onto a home in the Sault. Several roofs had shingles removed, and two billboards along I-75 sustained heavy damage. A garage and barn were damaged a few miles southeast of the Sault. $140,000 in damage was caused by the wake low in Chippewa County. In West Michigan 1 inch hail (quarter sized) fell 3 miles north of Borculo and a 60 mph wind gust was recorded at the spyglass condo in Holland.

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