Tornadoes, a shipwreck and cool high pressure 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 16.
1863 - The wood schooner, 2-mast Matt Root, while carrying corn, was bound Chicago for a lower lakes port, when she foundered in a squall in 480ft of water 4 miles off the Beaver Islands in Lake Michigan. Her crew came ashore in her yawl
1938 - A tornado struck between Oil City and Mount Pleasant in Isabella County. No one was injured but a home was torn apart with the roof carried about 100 yards.
1968 - 4.45 inches of rainfall fell in Flint. This is actually greater than the normal amount of precipitation for the entire month (3.43 inches)! An F1 tornado touched down in the early evening 0.8 mile ESE of Rock, MI in Delta County. It was on the ground for 0.5 mile, damage width of 33 yards and did $25,000 worth of property damage.
1978 - An F1 tornado touched down early in the morning 2.6 miles NW of Hulbert, MI in Chippewa County. It was on the ground for 0.50 mile, a path width of 27 yards which did $250,000 in property damage.
1979 - High pressure from Canada brings record cold temperatures with Muskegon falling to 36°, the coldest ever recorded there in August. At Grand Rapids the temperature falls to a record 40°. Other records include Ste. St. Marie 37°, , Detroit 43°, and Flint 43°.
1987 - Afternoon and evening thunderstorms developing along a cold front produced severe weather from Oklahoma to Wisconsin and Lower Michigan. Thunderstorms in central Illinois produced wind gusts to 80 mph at Springfield which toppled two large beer tents at the state fair injuring 58 people. Severe thunderstorms moved across northern Illinois producing winds of 40 to 80 mph with hail and from 1 to 5 inches of rain. Chicago was drenched with 2.90 inches of rain, making the month their wettest month on record. Total damage was $12 million dollars; primarily due to flooding in the Chicago area. (The National Weather Summary) (Storm Data)
1988 - Thunderstorms developing along a slow moving cold front produced severe weather from North Dakota to Lower Michigan during the day. Nine tornadoes were sighted in North Dakota, and thunderstorms also produced hail 3 inches in diameter at Lakota, ND. (The National Weather Summary) (Storm Data) Early in the morning, a severe thunderstorm moved through downtown Marquette and dropped 1 inch hailstones (quarter sized) and then moved east and gave Munising over 2 inches of rain. This was the first of four distinct bands to plow through the area this day. A severe thunderstorm rolled through Marquette into Alger Counties in the mid-morning. Hundreds of trees were blown down, a fisherman drowned near the White Rocks which are 2-3 miles offshore of Marquette, buildings were damaged and thousands lost power, some for several days. The storms formed over Lake Superior and moved through Marquette and Alger counties. The storm brought the seas up to 8 feet from calm on Lake Superior with blinding rain in a matter of moments. Several fishing boats were damaged as well as they sought shelter in the Upper Harbor, but the wind and waves pushed them 2 miles southeast at the Lower Harbor instead. A church steeple at the historic First Methodist church was tilted by the violent northwest straight-line winds from the storm. The highest recorded wind gust in the city of Marquette was 65 mph on the north side while an anemometer at Middle Island Point just north of the city recorded a 95 mph wind gust before the power went out. Around a 1000 trees were estimated to have been down in Presque Isle Park in Marquette. This was the second storm to hit Marquette that day. A tornado was spotted near Republic around 6:00 PM, but no damage was reported. Weather Forecast Office in Marquette had a daily record rainfall of 1.59 inches while the city of Marquette had 2.06 inches. Another tornado occurred in the late evening 2.3 miles ENE of Naubinway in Mackinac County. The F1 tornado was on the ground for 0.6 mile and was 60 yards wide. An 83 mph wind gust in a severe thunderstorm was measured in Grand Marais, MI late in the evening.
1993 - Rain at the rate of 1.00 inch per hour caused street flooding in the city of Iron Mountain.
1997 - An F0 tornado touched down shortly after midnight in Northland in Marquette County. It was on the ground for 8 minutes, moved 0.3 mile and was 150 yards wide. Several 12 to 18 inch diameter trees were uprooted and 4 chairs and a metal frame glass picnic table were blown off a deck of a house. Only one chair was damaged ($10 value). No other objects or buildings were damaged.
2010 - A deep low pressure system moving through Ontario produced damaging west winds over the Keweenaw Peninsula in the afternoon. The Houghton County Sheriff reported multiple trees down on power lines across the northern part of the county.