Palm Sunday tornado outbreak, record heat and snow top the list of Michigan weather events on this day in history. From the National Weather Service and Storm Prediction Center (SPC) archives here are the weather events that happened on April 11.
1965 - The second worst tornado outbreak in United States history struck from Iowa to Ohio, killing 256 people. In Michigan, the worst damage is near the Indiana state line as two violent tornadoes moved on parallel tracks about a half hour apart, killing 44 people and injuring hundreds. A tornado struck northwest of Grand Rapids, killing five people in Comstock Park. One person was killed by a tornado that moved from near Dewitt in Clinton County to Bennington in Shiawassee County. See the slideshow on the top for an image of a “double tornado” taken during this event. Read more about the outbreak from the articles below.
1973 – Chilly weather impacts the state with record lows including Grand Rapids with 14°, Muskegon 12°, and Alpena 13°.
1977 – Record warm lows and highs across the state on this date. The record warm lows include Grand Rapids with 56°, Lansing 58°, Detroit 56°, and Flint 54°. The record highs are Grand Rapids with 82°, Lansing 82°, Alpena 83°, Detroit 87°, and Marquette 83°.
2001 - Severe thunderstorms produced large hail, flash flooding, and two weak tornadoes. The tornadoes briefly moved through rural areas near Coopersville in Ottawa County and Cloverville in Muskegon County. See the slideshow on the top for weather images from these storms. Click here for a radar loop of the 2001 storms
2002 - 1.5 inches of rain fell on the Montreal River watershed which led to some flooding with flooded basements in Ironwood and plugged ditches causing road flooding around Bessemer.
2007 - A cold, windy and snowy day for the Lower Michigan with record snowfalls of 4.6” for Grand Rapids, Muskegon 5.1”, Lansing 5.2”, Alpena 1.6”, and Houghton Lake 3.6”.
2008 - A winter storm developed over the Plains and tracked northeast into the Upper Great Lakes. The storm dropped widespread heavy snow across Upper Michigan from the evening of the 10th into the afternoon of the 12th. Blizzard conditions also occurred over the Keweenaw Peninsula on the morning of the 11th. Weather Forecast Office in Marquette had a daily snowfall record of 13.6 inches and record water equivalent of 2.22 inches. The observer ten miles south of Grand Marais measured eight inches in 12 hours. The observer at Bergland reported eight inches of snow in 12 hours. The observer 11 miles south of Kenton reported six to seven inches of snow along with wind gusts over 25 mph at times. The National Weather Service in Negaunee Township reported a storm total snowfall of 17.5 inches ending on the morning of the 12th. Water equivalent precipitation from the storm measured 2.90 inches.
Farther south on the eleventh thunderstorms produce numerous reports of large hail across West Michigan during the afternoon hours. Some of the largest was in De Witt where the hail had a diameter of 1.75” and dented a family car but did not break the windshield. In Parma hail covered the ground and there were a few broken windshields with the 1” hail. See the slideshow on the top for weather images from these storms.