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Snowfall, a wildfires, shipwrecks and record heat

Almanac 29 April 2014 Click on image for a larger view
Almanac 29 April 2014 Click on image for a larger view
Grand Rapids Weather Examiner

Snowfall, a wildfires, shipwrecks and record heat top the list of Michigan weather events on this day in history. From the National Weather Service archives here are the weather events that happened on April 29.

1899 - Grand Rapids sets the record high for the month of April at 90° after a balmy morning low of 70°. The daytime temperature soared to 89° in Saginaw, which is the record high temperature for the month of April in Saginaw. Lansing also sees a daily record high of 86°, and Detroit a record 83°.

1907 - The wood steam tug Buffalo foundered after being cut by ice in Lake Superior, and declared a total loss. Her crew escaped to the steamer John Stanton. She was on her way Marquette to Duluth - she had just been fitted out as a fireboat for that port. Went down in almost 50 feet of water at Portage Lake, Keweenaw Waterway, but was expected to be quickly recovered, however, she was not raised until 7 years later and then never rebuilt.

1909 - A very impressive late season rain/snowstorm hits Michigan late on April 28th - 29th. The very intense low pressure system moved through the region bringing heavy rain mixed with snow setting records across Lower Michigan. The daily total liquid equivalent precipitation is 2.53” at Grand Rapids, and this includes a daily record of 2.2” of snow. The 1.75” at Lansing includes 4” of snow. Muskegon sees 1.5” of rain with 3.0”of snow. Detroit sees 1.99" of rain along with 3.0" of snow, sleet and hail from thunderstorms. Easterly winds gusted up into the 40s mph much of the 29th and then late in the evening, a strong cold front brought a northwest wind gust to 54 mph. In Saginaw, they were buried under 13.0”of snow. Temperatures remain in the 30s all day. The steel bulk freighter Aurania, which was carrying coal, was trapped in pack ice with many other vessels in Whitefish Bay in mid-April. Her hull was slowly crushed and she sank on this date, in sight of a fleet of the others. Her crew walked to steamer J.H. Bartow on the ice. When launched in 1895, she was the largest steel schooner on the lakes.

1996 - A daily record snowfall of 1.7 inches occurred at Weather Forecast Office in Marquette.

2007 - The Baraga Bump Wildfire, which started as a controlled burn on the 27th, burned out of control this day fueled by a low relative humidity and a strong west wind gusting over 40 mph. The fire consumed more than 1300 acres in the Baraga Plains area between the 27th and 30th. More than 120 firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service and the Michigan DNR battled the blaze and helped authorities evacuate thirty homes in the Covington area. No injuries or structure damage were reported from the fire. Another fire in northwest Marquette County destroyed three structures and burned approximately 60 acres before it was brought under control on this day. A downed power line on Green Garden Road in eastern Marquette County also left 60 homes without power for several hours. Weather Forecast Office in Marquette had a record high temperature of 80°.

2012 - Temperatures plunge below freezing with Grand Rapids dropping to a record cold 28°. The freeze causes tremendous damage to the fruit crops as the record warm March had brought out blossoms several weeks earlier than normal. Flint also sees a record cold 22° on this day.

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