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Rip currents, waterspouts, and tornadoes

Almanac 15 August 2014
Almanac 15 August 2014
Grand Rapids Weather Examiner

Rip currents, waterspouts, and tornadoes 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 15.

1878 - The Ontonagon lighthouse keeper observed three waterspouts that were about two miles from the lighthouse out over Lake Superior. An F1 tornado touched down 4.1 miles SW of Iron River in the midafternoon just to the west of Snipe Lake in Iron County. It was on the ground for 0.5 mile and was 50 yards wide and did $25,000 worth of property damage.

1951 - Tornadoes hit near Grand Ledge in Eaton County, Fowlerville in Livingston County and Kings Mill in Lapeer County. Several barns were destroyed.

1978 - A waterspout moved inland off Lake Michigan just south of Little Sable Point, about 8 miles west of Shelby in Oceana County. Several cottages were damaged and Scenic Drive was blocked by falling trees. One person was injured when a picture window was blown in. An F1 tornado touched down 4.1 miles SW of Iron River in the midafternoon just to the west of Snipe Lake in Iron County. It was on the ground for 0.5 mile and was 50 yards wide and did $25,000 worth of property damage.

1992 - Weather Forecast Office in Marquette had a record low temperature of 38°.

1997 - A severe thunderstorm produced strong thunderstorm winds that downed a 20 inch diameter tree and blew tarpaper off a roof in Fortune Lake in the late evening.

2000 - Strong winds developed in the wake of an area of showers and thunderstorms that moved across west central Lower Michigan and Lake Michigan in the early morning hours. Wind gusts reached 50 knots (60 MPH) along the Lake Michigan shoreline in Mackinac County. Outside of a few tree limbs being blown down, no damage reports were received following this event.

2009 - A 16 year old male was carried by rip currents away from the beach and out to deeper water. His 66 year old grandfather attempted a rescue, but was also overcome by waves and/or rip currents. Onlookers at the scene managed to retrieve the two, but revival attempts were unsuccessful. The two were declared dead at a St Ignace hospital. The incident occurred near the Pointe Aux Chenes sand dunes, about 10 miles northwest of St Ignace.