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The Groundhogs Day Blizzard, record cold and lake effect snow

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The Groundhogs Day Blizzard, record cold and lake effect snow 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 February 2.

1936- For Detroit, this marked the last day of a streak of 11 days (Jan 23-Feb 2, 1936) with daily temperatures colder than 19 degrees!

1868 - It is a chilly Groundhog Day as Lansing sets their all-time record low with a reading of -37°.

1967 - Flint measured 9.3" of snow from a snowstorm that occurred February 1st-2nd. The groundhog probably had trouble getting out of his burrow that morning, let alone see his shadow.

1996 - A record low of -26° occurred at the Weather Forecast Office in Marquette with a record low high temperature of -13°. A low temperature of -33° with a high of -9° at Bergland Dam, low of -37° and a high of -14° in Ironwood, low of -30° and a high of -7° in Champion occurred. Some of the extreme low temperatures included Kenton -44°, Iron River -41°, Ironwood -37°, Amasa -37°, Stephenson -36°, Bergland -32°, Ontonagon -30°, Iron Mountain -30°, and Alberta -29°.

2001 - A low pressure center and its attendant cold front moving across the northern Great Lakes brought significant snow to the lake effect snowbelt of northwest Upper Michigan. Nine inches of snow accumulated in Wakefield overnight, Ontonagon and Calumet reported 8 inches, and in the highlands of the Keweenaw Peninsula, Laurium had 10 inches and Phoenix received 10.5 inches of snowfall from late in the afternoon on the 1st, to early in the morning on the 2nd.

2009 - East to northeast winds in the wake of a cold front brought heavy lake effect snow to portions of Upper Michigan on the 2nd and 3rd. Spotters in Carney estimated snowfall of 13 to 16 inches during the afternoon and evening of the 2nd. Spotters in Powers and Cedar River also measured seven inches of snow on the 2nd.

2011 - The Groundhogs Day Blizzard affected a large area of the country from Oklahoma to the New England States, including Michigan. The blizzard struck Michigan with wind gusts over 40 mph, more than a foot of snow, whiteout conditions and snowdrifts of 3 to 5 feet. The storm began on the evening of February 1st and ended during the morning of the 2nd. Thunder accompanied the snow in some areas with snowfall rates exceeding two inches per hour. For southeast Michigan the snow started during the evening hours of the 1st and continued into the 2nd. Snowfall accumulations generally ranging from 6 to 12 inches. Isolated higher amounts were recorded across the Thumb and Tri-Cities Region. Northeast winds gusting between 25 to 35 mph caused some blowing and drifting of snow. Frequent wind gusts to 35 mph came off Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay, leading to blizzard conditions north of the I-69 corridor. Some of the higher snowfall reports across the area included: Pigeon 14 inches; Port Huron 14 inches; Lapeer 13.6 inches; Lexington 13.5 inches; Bridgeport 13 inches; Mayville 13 inches; Pinconning 12 inches; Flushing 11 inches; Lake Orion 10 inches; and Romulus 9 inches. Read more about this storm at these links:
Snowfall records fall
February 2011 blizzard summary
Southeast Michigan total snowfall

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