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Tornadoes, heat, destroyed church and heavy fog

Almanac 21 June 2014 Click on image for a larger view
Almanac 21 June 2014 Click on image for a larger view
Grand Rapids Weather Examiner

Tornadoes, heat, destroyed church and heavy fog top the list of Michigan weather events on this day in history. From the National Weather Service archives here events that happened on June 21.

1953 - The steel, bulk freight Scotiadoc, while carrying wheat, was bound Thunder Bay for Georgian Bay, when she was rammed by the steamer Burlington in heavy fog and sank in deep water 15 miles off Thunder Bay, Ontario in Lake Superior. Burlington rescued her crew. One person of the 29 member crew perished.

1983 and again in 1995, Weather Forecast Office in Marquette had a record high temperature of 88°.

1987 - An F2 tornado touched down in Novi at the Chateau Estates on 13 Mile Road. The tornado was only on the ground for .3 miles but one death and 6 injuries were reported. 57 mobile homes were destroyed while another 170 mobile homes were damaged.

1988 - The hot summer of 1988 got off to a sizzling start with record highs of 98°at Grand Rapids and Lansing. In the U.P. 2.77 inches of rain fell in a short period of time in Bark River in a small cluster of heavy thunderstorms

1995 - Lightning destroyed a brick chimney on a house in downtown Ishpeming. Lightning is also considered to be the cause of a fire which destroyed a century-old church in downtown Ishpeming. Damage to the church is estimated to be in excess of $1 million and ended up being $5 million. Thunderstorms with tops to 35,000 feet developed around 1600 EDT on a line from Marquette to Ishpeming, then 60 miles southwest to Iron River and Crystal Falls near the Wisconsin border. These storms moved southeast around 10 knots, and dissipated around 1930 EDT. The fire apparently smoldered for about four hours in the church steeple before breaking out.

1996 - Severe thunderstorms developed along a warm front across central Lower Michigan during the evening on the 21st. A tornado struck from near Weidman to west of Rosebush in Isabella County. Three homes were damaged and four barns destroyed, along with several other outbuildings. Several silos and farm machinery were damaged. The storms moved southeast across the Saginaw Valley and the thumb region during the period from late evening on the 21st through the early morning hours of the 22nd. The result was an extremely damaging weather event, as flash flooding caused millions of dollars of damage to property, and 3 documented tornadoes touched down. The worst damage was done to the resort town of Frankenmuth, where an F3 tornado caused about 5 million dollars of damage. The tornado completely destroyed 4 houses, and damaged 130 others. No one was injured or killed. Elsewhere, tornadoes damaged homes in Lapeer and Saint Clair counties, and strong straight line winds uprooted trees in northern Genesee County, and did severe damage to a mobile home dealership in southern Bay County. Flash flooding was widespread throughout the Saginaw Valley and the thumb region as well. In Bay County, an elderly man was killed when his car was swept from a bridge while he was attempting to cross the Kawkawlin River. Elsewhere, flooding did widespread damage to roads and houses. Dollar damage amounts were difficult to estimate until the growing season actually came to an end, but initial rough estimates placed total damage to crops in the area at several million dollars.

2006 – Severe thunderstorms moved across mainly Lenawee and Monroe Counties. Rainfall in excess of 5 inches created widespread flooding, resulting in three high water rescues in Lenawee County. The severe thunderstorms produced up to golf ball size hail, estimated wind gusts to 75 mph and one F1 tornado south of Addison. In the U.P. several trees and power lines were downed with a severe thunderstorm in Pelkie in the mid afternoon causing $3000 in property damage. Several trees were down in Baraga in the mid afternoon with $2000 in property damage. Tree blown down taking a power line with it in Mass City at 1511 EST. L'anse also had several trees down at 1543 EST. A few 4-5 inch diameter trees down 4 miles south of Big Bay at 1620 EST. A cold front triggered isolated severe thunderstorms over portions of west and central Upper Michigan in the afternoon and evening.