Salt in Lake Superior, snow, ice and hail 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 Michigan weather events that happened on May 1.
1866 - A May Day snowstorm drops 4” of snow at Lansing.
1907 - Ice in the Portage Canal and Portage Lake was still more than a foot thick, the thickest on record for so late in the season.
1909 - The wood, bulk freight Adella Shores, while carrying salt, was bound Ludington for Duluth when she “sailed away” in a storm. No identifiable wreckage was ever found. She sank somewhere off Whitefish Point in Lake Superior and took all 14 or 18 crew members with her.
1940 - The steel, bulk freight "canaller" Arlington carrying 98,000 bushels of grain, sailed into the teeth of a gale, in company of the steamer Collingwood, from Fort William, Ontario the night before. After she began to leak, her skipper took the helm to steady the listing ship while the boats were launched. He died when she suddenly plunged to the bottom off a wave. The other 15 crew made it to her boat and were picked up by the Collingwood. The Arlington sank near Superior Shoals in Lake Superior.
1983 - An F0 tornado touched down west of Highway 117 in the midafternoon 6.1 miles SW of Newberry. It caused $300 worth of property damage as it was on the ground for 0.1 mile and was 7 yards wide. The county of Monroe was hit by an F1 tornado that tore through the county at 11:55PM. It caused about $3,000 in property damage.
1996 - The all-time seasonal total of 222 inches of snow was set at Sault Ste. Marie in 1995-1996 breaking the previous record of 178.6 inches in 1976-1977. The average snowfall is 127.1 inches. 0.2 inch of snow fell this day in Sault Ste. Marie, the last measurable snow seen that season.
2007 – Thunderstorms along a warm front produce numerous reports of quarter size hail across southern Lower Michigan. There is even one report of ping pong ball size hail in near Hudson. View the radar animation of the thunderstorms here: SPC Radar loop May 1, 2007 The slideshow on the top has a few weather maps from this day.