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Record heat, grapefruit sized hail, and tornadoes

Almanac 19 July 2014
Almanac 19 July 2014
Grand Rapids Weather Examiner

Record heat, grapefruit sized hail, and tornadoes top the list of Michigan weather events on this day in history. From the National Weather Service archives here events that happened on July 19.

1879 - The wood schooner Annie Coleman, accidentally ran on a reef in fog at the mouth of the Hurricane River, 9 miles west of Grand Marais on Lake Superior. One source says the crew walked 70 miles to Marquette for assistance.

1894 - Temperatures reach 100° across much of Michigan for the second day in a row. At Lansing, the high of 102° sets the record for the all-time hottest temperature. This reading would be tied in 1916, 1918, and 1934. This record was broken in 2012 when Lansing set a new all-time record with 103° on July 6. Like Lansing, Sault Ste. Marie sees their second day of record heat and sets a daily temperature record with 94°. This record is tied in 1916.

1909 - Hancock had flooding from heavy rain with cellars flooded. Houghton had 1.73 inches of rain. A large portion of Front Street in Hancock was washed away.

1915 - The wood barge Pup, while carrying 50 bags of cement, sprang a leak and foundered in a storm off Plum Island in the mouth of Green Bay in Lake Michigan while in tow of the gas tug Challenger. Former ferry and fish tug, converted to a barge shortly before this date.

1996 - A severe thunderstorm came through Flint producing 58 mph winds in the early morning hours.

1978 - 3.5 inch hail (tea cup to grapefruit size) fell out of a severe thunderstorm 1 mile west of Chatham, MI in Alger County in the late afternoon. 2.5 inch hail (tennis ball sized) fell 4.7 miles southwest of Painesdale in the early afternoon. Ping pong ball sized (1.5 inch) hail fell 5.8 miles east southeast of South Range in the mid afternoon.

1983 - A severe thunderstorm produced wind gusts up to 58 mph in Ironwood in the early morning.

1992 - An F2 Tornado touched down in Gladstone, MI at 1905 EST with a damage path of 0.2 mile and width of 10 yards. Widespread destruction occurred along its half mile wide path. Several businesses sustained major damage including one housing several large tanks. The tornado picked up an empty 20,000 gallon tank and threw it 200 yards slamming it into another tank. The valve broke on this second tank spilling 250,000 gallons of tar. Half the residents of Gladstone were without power after the storm with telephone service knocked out. A number of houses and garages were damaged. Only 2 minor injuries were reported with $2.5 million in damage from the tornado. Plywood and styrofoam from the building supply store were found in the woods 10 miles east of town. A separate F0 tornado touched down in Alger County at 1625 EST about 4 miles NNE of Shingleton, was on the ground for 0.10 mile and had a damage path of 10 yards. 1.75 inch hail (golf ball sized) fell 5.9 miles south southeast of Crystal Falls in Iron County at 1728 CST and 65kt winds occurred in Dickinson County earlier that afternoon.

1996 - A severe thunderstorm came through Flint producing 58 mph winds in the early morning hours.

1998 - A severe thunderstorm caused wind gusts to 60 mph that were reported by ships along the Soo Locks in the early afternoon.

2004 - A cold front moved across Upper Michigan and caused scattered thunderstorms. Some of the storms over the central and eastern parts became severe during the afternoon. Golf ball-sized hail (1.75 inch) pummeled areas in Schoolcraft County north of Manistique. Quarter-sized hail (1 inch) fell near Northland in southern Marquette County and just east of Ralph in Dickinson County.

2009 - Cool and unstable air over Lake Michigan spawns at least two waterspouts. One of the waterspouts moves inland near Holland, just north of Lake Macatawa, but quickly dissipates and causes no damage.

2010 - Severe thunderstorms generated large hail and heavy rain in Marquette in the afternoon. 1 inch hail (quarter sized) fell 1 mile west of Marquette at 1256 EST.

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