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Record heat, large hail, damaging wind, and a wildfire

Almanac 2 August 2014
Almanac 2 August 2014
Grand Rapids Weather Examiner

Record heat, large hail, damaging wind, 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 August 2.

1927 - Morning low temperatures fall into the lower to mid-40s during one of the coolest Augusts on record. Daily record lows are set at Lansing with 40°, Muskegon with 42°, Grand Rapids at 46°, Flint 42° and Houghton Lake 30°.

1964 - Lansing hits 100° Grand Rapids 98°, Flint 97° and Muskegon 93° as a brutal four day heat wave continues. Muskegon sets a new record in 1988.

1982 - A severe thunderstorm in Pelkie, MI dropped 2.5 inch hail (tennis ball sized) in the late evening. Half dollar sized hail (1.25 inch) fell 0.9 mile southwest of Painesdale and 5.8 miles east southeast of South Range in the early evening.

1986 - An F1 tornado hit Macomb County. Also, on this date in 1972, an F3 tornado hit Oakland County at 4:23pm.

1988 – Alpena sees their warmest August day ever with a high of 102°. Other daily record highs include Muskegon with 94°, Detroit with 99° and Sault Ste. Marie with 93°. Spalding recorded a high temperature of 102°. A complex of heavy thunderstorms brought 2.11 inches of record daily rainfall to Weather Forecast Office in Marquette with the city of Marquette getting over 3 inches. The rainfall from this event exceeded the total rainfall for the months of June and July 1988 combined. 1.75 inch hail (golf ball sized) fell 5.8 miles south southwest of Harvey in the late afternoon.

2004 - A severe thunderstorm broke off four to eight inch thick branches 2 miles southeast of Ensign in the early afternoon. A strong cold front passed over Upper Michigan. The arrival of the front and daytime heating triggered some showers and thunderstorms, mainly over south central and eastern Upper Michigan. Some of the storms became severe and produced large hail and damaging winds across portions of Delta and Schoolcraft Counties. Heavy rain swelled the Cut River in central Mackinac County. The river washed out part of the west approach to the bridge that carried US-2 across the river and caused $40,000 in damage. A portion of Epoufette Bay Road was also washed out. The flooding took about an hour and a half to disperse in the Epoufette area.

2006 - Severe thunderstorms repeatedly moved along the Interstate 69 corridor during the evening hours. The storms produced severe winds that downed many trees. The training nature of the storms produced up to 10 inches of rainfall in northeast Lapeer and southwest Sanilac Counties. The town of Brown City was especially hard hit with flooding. The flood resulted in about 2.5 million dollars in damages.

2007 - A lightning strike ignited a wildfire over the Lake Superior State Forest in Luce County during a period of moderate to extreme drought conditions. The Sleeper Lake Fire grew to more than 15,000 acres within a week and eventually swept across 28 square miles, consuming more than 18,000 acres of forests and wetlands before it was fully contained in late August. The fire threatened permanent and seasonal residences as well as commercial business along County Road 407 north of Halfway Lake to Pine Stump Junction and east along County Road 420 toward Stuart Lake. At the height of fire, approximately 250 people per day were working the fire, along with four National Guard Blackhawk helicopters, two CL215 water bombers from Minnesota and a helicopter aerial ignition team from Ontario. Equipment and personnel costs for fighting the fire were in excess of $7 million. It was the third largest wildfire in Michigan's recorded history at the time. No major injuries were reported.

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