Record heat, large hail, collapsing dams and a wildfire 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 September 12.
1887 - The wood schooner David Provost, while carrying brick, foundered in a gale near Detour lighthouse, MI in Lake Huron and was a total loss. She was bound for Sault Ste. Marie from Chatham, Ont. She was raised twice, but lost again each time and finally remained on the bottom.
1931 – The hot spell continues for another day with new record high temperatures set for several cities across the state. Grand Rapids climbs to a scorching 93°, Lansing 92°, Alpena 97°, Detroit 94°, Flint 94°, Houghton Lake 98°, and Sault Ste. Marie 91°. In addition to the records for high temperatures several cities also set records for warm low temperatures. Grand Rapids and Muskegon only observe a low of 71°. The low in Detroit is balmy 75° and Sault Ste. Marie 63°.
1952 – The heat this year is just as warm as 1931 and even hotter in a few locations with new records being set. Grand Rapids hits 95°, Muskegon reaches 92°, clobbering the record 88° set one year earlier. Detroit sees a record high of 96° and Flint is just one degree shy of the 1931 record with a temperature of 93°.
1976 - The last gasp of the Seney fire occurred. Strong southerly winds fanned the smoldering fire back to life and with the winds, more fires started north of the Seney Stretch with firebrands. This flare-up was going on when the firefighting operations were winding down and being dismantled. Two fires started in the Grand Sable State Forest. One was quickly put out. The other burned out of control and burned 5,000 acres that night. Two other fires were also simultaneously burning at the time with one near Ives Lake in the Huron Mountains and the other was near Hogsback Mountain northwest of Marquette with hundreds of people fighting this fire continuously. Final figures of the Seney fire were around 74,000 acres burned involving 112 square miles and 88 miles of control line. It cost $8 million to put the fire out in 1976.
1986 - From 6 to 12 inches of rain in three days resulted in record flooding from Muskegon to Saginaw. The flooding was worsened by the collapse of several dams. Ten people were killed and damage estimates approached half a billion dollars. a 3 day period of persistant rainfall that caused the worst flooding in 50 years finally ended, which resulted in damage between 400 and 500 million dollars!
2005 - A severe thunderstorm brought a large tree down blocking a road near Marion Lake 5 miles east of Watersmeet in the late afternoon.
2010 - A cluster of late-afternoon thunderstorms produced large hail in parts of Eastern Upper Michigan. Golf ball sized hail (1.75 inch) fell in Raco and 1.5 inch hail (ping pong ball sized) fell 2 miles west of Dafter. 1 inch hail (quarter sized) fell 9.2 miles north northeast of Indian Lake. 2 inch hail (hen egg sized) fell 5 miles east northeast of Brimley in Izaak Walton Bay near the St. Mary's River.
2011 - A strong cold front moving through a moist unstable air mass produced severe thunderstorms over western Upper Michigan in the evening. A ten inch diameter tree was downed and power was out 2 miles east northeast of Baraga in the early evening. Hail of unknown size was also reported. $1000 in damage occurred. Wind gusts greater than 50 mph were measured for 20 minutes at Beacon Hill with a peak wind gust of 74 mph at 1904 EST with quarter sized hail (1 inch) reported at the same time. A 63 mph wind gust was measured at 1859 EST. Quarter-sized hail was measured as well. A 66 mph wind gust was measured at the Houghton County Airport ASOS. Large limbs were reported down in the Hubbell/Lake Linden area along with minor street flooding. Quarter and dime-sized hail were reported with the storm 1 mile west of Ontonagon. Winds were estimated up to 65 mph as well at 1852 EST. Several large branches were also reported down due to strong thunderstorm winds 2 miles northeast of Ontonagon at 1855 EST along with 1 inch hail (quarter sized). Golfball sized hail (1.75 inch) fell 6 miles north of Greenland at 1910 EST.