Record snow, killer tornadoes and shipwrecks 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 events that happened on October 18.
1834 - One of the first recorded tornadoes in Michigan strikes Kalamazoo, damaging several homes and businesses.
1863 - The wood schooner Cairo, while carrying salt and carboys of acid, was driven ashore in a gale and became a total wreck, breaking up within two hours of striking near Death's Door in Lake Michigan.
1910 - The steel, bulk freight William C. Moreland stranded on Sawtooth Reef near Eagle Harbor, MI in Lake Superior on what was only her fifth trip. While her stern was jammed fast, the bow, overhanging a dropoff, filled, broke off and sank in deep water. The brand new stern was salvaged the next year, towed back to Lorain, where a new bow portion was installed.
1925 - The wood crane barge Frank D. Ewen stranded and wrecked in a gale at Hedgehog Harbor, WI in the bay of Green Bay.
1952 - The overnight temperature dropped to 22° degrees in Flint, which is the record low temperature for the day. Curiously enough, the very next year, 1953, the daytime temperature rose to 82°! Alpena also observes a record cold temperature for the day with 20°.
1972 - It is an early taste of winter as a snowstorm hits Lower Michigan. The storm drops 4.6 inches of snow at Muskegon, the heaviest snow on record for so early in the season there. Grand Rapids sees a meager 0.9” of snow and Sault Ste. Marie a whopping 6.8”.
1976 - A cold snap drops the temperature at Grand Rapids to 19° for an early season record. Other daily records include 23° at Muskegon, 17° at Lansing, and 24° at Detroit.
2007 - A strong and potent storm in the Upper Great Lakes drove a cold front through Lower Michigan during the evening and overnight hours on October 18th and 19th. The atmosphere ahead of the cold front was very warm, moist, and unstable. These conditions combined with the strong storm to produce severe thunderstorms. Large hail fell over portions of western Upper Michigan in the evening. 1.25 inch hail (half dollar sized) fell 5 miles southwest of Ontonagon and 1 inch hail (quarter sized) fell 3 miles east of the Ontonagon Lighthouse in the late afternoon in Lake Superior. For Lower Michigan there was a late-season and late-night tornado outbreak. A tornado with top winds estimated at about 130 mph strikes Williamston in Ingham County. Two people are killed when their mobile home is demolished. Several other homes are heavily damaged. Eleven tornadoes occur on this day and three people are killed.
The slideshow at the top of the page has more images of the severe storms. Click here for a radar loop of the storms on this day.
The video on the left show dramatic NIGHT video of the tornado that caused two deaths.
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