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Mild highs, freezing rain, and heavy snow

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

Mild highs, freezing rain, and heavy 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 March 23.

1888 - The daily records for both Lowest Maximum Daytime temperature and Overnight Low temperature were set at 18° and , respectively in Detroit.

1907 – A warm day across the area with Grand Rapids setting a new record high temperature with 74° and Muskegon a record high of 73°.

1956 - A snowstorm drops from 6 to 10 inches across southwest Lower Michigan. Jackson picks up 10” of snow, Grand Rapids sees a record 8.4” and Muskegon sets a record with 6.3”.

1993 - A low pressure system tracked east from central Illinois during the morning to eastern Ohio by the morning of the 24th. This resulted in freezing rain during the morning hours. Ice accumulations ranged from 0.2 to 0.4 inches over Baraga, Marquette, Alger, Delta, Mackinac, southern Schoolcraft Counties.

2009 - A tight pressure gradient between low pressure over the Plains and high pressure over Hudson Bay caused strong southeast wind gusts over portions of the Keweenaw Peninsula from the 23rd into the 24th. Freezing rain also developed over portions of northwest Upper Michigan during this same time. The observer in Mohawk measured one-quarter inch of freezing rain. The combination of the ice and southeast winds gusting near 40 mph toppled numerous trees on US-41 and M-26 between the towns of Phoenix, Central and Copper Harbor. Most of the trees were between 6 and 18 inches in diameter.

2011 - Low pressure tracking eastward through the Lower Great Lakes brought significant heavy wet snow to south central Upper Michigan. With a strong high pressure system centered over Ontario providing very dry air across Lake Superior and northern Upper Michigan, there was a very sharp snowfall gradient between the heavy snow and no snow at all. The pressure difference across the area also resulted in gusty east winds. Storm total snowfall of 13 inches in about 12 hours was recorded in Wallace, MI. Other snowfall reports included 10 inches in Menominee and 8 inches in Carney. Winds gusting over 40 mph especially along the lake shore resulted in significant blowing and drifting snow and the closure of some roads along the lake in Menominee. School and government buildings were also closed for the day. The snowfall gradient was very sharp with areas north of US 2 seeing very little snowfall. This snowstorm started on the 22nd and continued into the morning hours as it hit the Flint, Saginaw and Thumb regions. 4 to 8 inches of heavy, wet snow fell. For areas along the I-69 corridor, a tenth or two of ice fell on top of the snow. The combination of snow and ice lead to over 10,000 customers without power.

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