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Massive power outages, frigid temperatures and a foot of lake effect snow

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Massive power outages, frigid temperatures and a foot of lake effect snow 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 December 26.

1914 - The overnight temperature plummeted to -12° in Saginaw, which is 30 degrees below the average overnight temperature! Lansing is even colder as they observes a record low of -15°.

1985 - Muskegon sets a daily snowfall record of 14.4” during a long stretch of snowy weather. The monthly total for December is 57”.

1993 – The Weather Forecast Office in Marquette had a record cold high temperature of -2° and Alpena a record +2° these are records for the coldest high temperatures ever recorded in the month of December. Other daily records set across the state include Grand Rapids with a high of only 10°, Muskegon , Lansing , Flint 8°, and Sault Ste. Marie a record -9°. Strong northwest wind with gusts to 54 mph continued to keep Michigan gripped in arctic air setting off another round of heavy lake effect snow for Upper Michigan that started on the 25th and continued until noon today. The strong winds combined with lake effect snow brought near blizzard conditions to portions of eastern Upper Michigan. Wind chill values dropped to -65° at Sault Ste. Marie during the early morning hours. Snowfall amounts ranged from three to seven inches in western Upper Michigan and around ten inches in eastern Upper Michigan. In addition to the snowfall, snow drifts up to three feet were reported. The high winds caused considerable blowing and drifting snow resulting in the closing of many secondary roads with main highways barely passable. Numerous accidents were reported as a result of the snow covered roads during the Christmas weekend.

1999 - A strong cold front associated with an intense low pressure center over Hudson Bay swept across Upper Michigan Christmas Night into the morning of the 26th with 35 to 45 mph winds and gusts over 60 mph. The strongest winds were reported over the Keweenaw Peninsula where 90 percent of the area lost power overnight and hundreds of trees were blown down, ranging from 5 to 6 inch diameter fir trees to 12 inch birch and maple trees. Power companies worked well into the afternoon of the 26th removing downed trees and repairing damaged power lines. $50,000 worth of property damage was reported.

2001 - A foot of lake effect snow piles up at Grand Rapids as a week-long snow blitz drops about 4 feet of snow at Grand Rapids.

2012 - A large Gulf low lifted northeast along the Appalachian Mountains and clipped southeast Michigan bringing a widespread accumulating snowfall to the area. By the following morning, 4" to 7" had accumulated across the southeast half of the area, with higher amounts of 14" in Lakeport and 11.1" in Port Huron. Detroit and Flint measured storm total accumulations of 6.2" and 5" respectively. Further northwest, Saginaw received a glancing blow and measured only 1.5".

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