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Large hail, washed out train tracks, tornadoes and strong wind

Almanac 28 July 2014
Almanac 28 July 2014
Grand Rapids Weather Examiner

Large hail, washed out train tracks, tornadoes and strong wind 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 July 28.

1949 - Heavy thunderstorms developed ahead of a cold front with nearly 5.5 inches of rain in Marquette in just over 2 hours causing considerable damage while Ishpeming had 5.35 inches of rain. Flash flooding caused washouts on streets and sidewalks and damage to buildings near downtown Marquette. A huge washout at Lake and Spring Streets caused a fuel tank to tumble into a gully leading to the loss of 12,000 gallons of fuel oil. A pipe then broke allowing 50,000 cubic feet of gas to escape. The washout caused a water main to break cutting off fresh water to a large part of the City of Marquette. Train service was interrupted as three miles of track washed out near Goose Lake in Marquette County while in Ishpeming, damage to homes and stores mounted to many thousands of dollars due to flooding. L'anse had 2.04 inches of rain, Munising had 2.12 inches, Chatham had 2.00 inches while thunderstorms took down some power poles around Iron Mountain which knocked out electricity until the next morning.

1959 - A steady rain brought relief from drought conditions across West Michigan. Dry weather began in April, resulting in water rationing in Grand Rapids by the middle of July.

1976 - A tornado injures five people northwest of Grand Rapids as it damages a warehouse.

1980 - A 69 mph wind gust was reported out of a severe thunderstorm 1 mile west of Chatham in Alger County in the early afternoon. A 69 mph wind gust was reported out of a severe thunderstorm 1 mile west of Chatham in Alger County and 1.5 inch hail (ping pong ball sized) fell 5.6 miles south of Gwinn in the early afternoon. 1 inch hail (quarter sized) fell 0.6 mile north northeast of Bergland in the late afternoon.

1988 - Record heat in the summer continues. WFO Marquette ties its all time record high temperature of 99°. A record high low temperature of 67° was also set at Weather Forecast Office in Marquette.

1996 - A weak, short-lived tornado damaged a pole barn near Evart on Osceola County.

2000 – Thunderstorms brought large hail and strong wind to Lower Michigan. The wind knocked down trees and power lines. A tree falling on a car killed one person in Cascade. Thunderstorms brought hail to with some of the largest being 1 3 /4 inch (golf ball size) at Jerome in Hillsdale County. Heavy rain produced flash flooding to Detroit.

2005 - An F0 tornado/waterspout touched down on Lake Superior 3 miles north of Christmas, MI in the late afternoon. The tornado came ashore and downed several tree branches on Grand Island. The tornado path was 30 yards wide and a 0.10 of a mile long.

2006 - An approaching cold front interacting with an extremely unstable airmass triggered a widespread outbreak of severe weather across west and central Upper Michigan from late afternoon on the 28th to just after sunrise on the 29th. Of the 13 counties in west and central Upper Michigan, only Alger and Keweenaw counties escaped without severe weather, as there were at least 40 individual reports of damaging wind or large hail during the event. The storms also produced torrential downpours and minor flooding over Gogebic County during the early morning hours of the 29th. Golf ball sized hail (1.75 inch) lasted for five to ten minutes 6 miles east of Bessemer out of a severe thunderstorm. Wakefield had up to 4 inch hail (grapefruit sized) which resulted in significant damage to roofs, siding, and automobiles with up to $750,000 in property damage. 2 inch hail (hen egg size) fell 5 miles east of Ironwood. Hundreds of trees were either uprooted or snapped along a greater than 20 mile damage path in a severe thunderstorm with wind gusts up to 81 mph in Baraga County. The more concentrated wind damage began near the Covington Rest Home where an outbuilding was damaged and several large tree limbs were knocked down. As the storm tracked east, numerous trees were uprooted and/or snapped mainly in an area bounded by Cemetery Road, Besonen Road and Highway M-28. Within this area, just behind the VFW building off of VFW Road, there was a localized area where nearly twenty trees were blown down. The wind damage continued across Highway M-28 and eastward along the entire length of old M-28. A resident near the intersection of old M-28 and Foy Road in Covington had a large spruce tree snap off and fall to the ground missing his house by inches. Two eyewitnesses in Covington reported hail greater than the size of quarters during the peak of the storm. Sporadic tree damage was also reported in rural areas north of King Lake Road eastward to Three Lakes. Some tree damage was also noted along Highway M-28/US-41 in Three Lakes and a resident from near Petticoat Lake reported some tree damage. $50,000 in property damage occurred with the storms in Baraga County. Trees were down on power lines 2 miles north of Garden and 1.5 inch hail (walnut size) fell 2 miles south of Sagola.

2010 - Severe thunderstorms developed over Metro Detroit. Among the 15 wind and wind damage reports was a measured wind gust to 73 mph at Selfridge ANGB.

2011 - Intense thunderstorm rain from about 2 a.m. to noon, led to rainfall totals of 3 to 7 inches which lead to flash flooding across Shiawassee, Genesee, Livingston, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties. Some of the heavier rainfall totals included 5.5 inches in Goodrich, 6.26 inches in Ypsilanti, 6.5 inches in Chelsea.