One of the coldest winters of the 20th century, widespread heavy snow, and record warmth 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 2.
1926 - The steel, bulk freighter Cottonwood, while carrying stone, was driven hard ashore at Coppermine Point, Ontario in Lake Superior in a gale and declared a total loss, but salvaged in the spring of 1927. Salvage and repair cost over $100,000.
1929 - The wooden fish tug Alice L was lost in a gale east of Grand Marais, MI with one person aboard who perished.
1976 - One of the coldest winters of the 20th century gets off to an early start, continuing the persistently cold pattern that began during the autumn. Temperatures plunge to record lows of -11° at Grand Rapids and -2° Muskegon on this day. The cold continued on the 3rd with Grand Rapids plunging to -6° and Muskegon -3°. There were record lows in Detroit on the 2nd with -2° and the 3rd with -3°, in Flint on the 2nd with -5° and in Saginaw on the 2nd with 3°. The Weather Forecast Office in Marquette observed -10°.
Sault Ste. Marie took part in the record cold with a bitter -24°.
1982 - Low temperatures on this day are only in the mid-50s across southwest Lower Michigan, the warmest on record for December. The afternoon temperatures are in the mid and upper 60s. Muskegon hits 64, Grand Rapids with 67°, Lansing 66°, Alpena 60°, Detroit 67°, Flint 66°, Houghton Lake 63°, Marquette 58°, and Sault Ste. Marie 55°.
1989 – Squalls produced heavy snow in the Great Lakes region. Totals in Upper Michigan ranged up to 20” at Ironwood. Heavy snow and high winds caused 150 auto accidents in Michigan, resulting in 16 deaths and 22 injuries. (The National Weather Summary) (Storm Data)
2004 - An intensifying low pressure system moved east across northern Lower Michigan. Snowfall with this system was enhanced by Lake Michigan. In Chippewa County, 8 to 9 inches of snow fell near Whitefish Point and Paradise, with 6 to 7 inches across the rest of the central and western part of the county.
2007 - A low pressure system tracking from the Plains into the central Great Lakes dropped widespread heavy snow across west and central Upper Michigan from the 1st into the 2nd. Occasionally heavy lake effect snow developed behind the system on the night of the 2nd and continued into the 4th. Snowfall totals from the event included nine inches near Bark River and Garden Corners and 11 inches two miles northwest of Gladstone, eight inches in 24 hours at Iron Mountain, nine inches in 24 hours at Norway and Kingsford and ten inches in 8 hours at a spotter location seven miles north of Iron Mountain. A spotter eight miles south of Marenisco measured 9.5 inches of snow in 13 hours while a spotter twelve miles west of Watersmeet reported 10 inches of snow in 18 hours. A spotter four miles northwest of Pelkie reported eight inches of snow in eight hours. Another spotter two miles south of Calumet estimated 10-12 inches of snow in 24 hours. Spotter reports of ten inches of snow in 18 hours were estimated over southern Ontonagon County. A spotter in Amasa reported 8.6 inches of snow in 18 hours.