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Tornadoes, lightning, a shipwreck, and record heat

Radar image 8:35 PM 27 Jul 2002
Radar image 8:35 PM 27 Jul 2002

Tornadoes, lightning, a shipwreck, and record heat 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 July 27.

Almanac 27 July 2014
Grand Rapids Weather Examiner

1884 - The steamer, steel, passenger/package freighter Alberta, collided with the steam barge John M. Osborne in a fog 3.5 miles from Whitefish Point on Lake Superior and sank in shallow water near Whitefish Point. A single casualty was lost in attempt to rescue crewmen from the sinking Osborne. She was recovered soon after. This was Alberta's 1st year.

1894 - The temperature hit 100° at Lansing during the second record heat wave of the month, the first of which occurred a week earlier, when Lansing set its all-time record of 102°. Sault Ste. Marie also sets a daily record with 92°.

1928 - 3.07 inches of rainfall fell in Saginaw. This is the precipitation record for the month of July in Saginaw and is also greater than the average amount of precipitation Saginaw receives for the entire month of July (2.50 inches)!

1955 - Temperatures reached the upper 90s for the second day in a row across West Michigan in one of the hottest months on record. At Grand Rapids, 15 days had high temperatures above 90° during July, 1955.

1973 - An F0 waterspout touched down 6.3 miles SSE of Escanaba or 6.8 miles east of Ford River, MI in the Little Bay De Noc in the early afternoon.

1992 - A record low high temperature of 62° was set at Weather Forecast Office in Marquette.

1997 - Trees and power lines blown down by thunderstorms in the counties of Cass Michigan, Saint Joseph County Michigan, Saint Joseph Indiana, Elkhart, Noble, Whitley, Allen Indiana, Wells, and Adams. A woman was injured by lightning at 2:22pm at 10884 Harder Road near Constantine, Michigan.

2002 - A severe weather outbreak produces tornado and downburst wind damage. A tornado with top winds around 80 mph touched down about one mile east of Augusta in Kalamazoo County. The tornado passed through Fort Custer in western Calhoun County, about one mile northwest of the Battle Creek airport. The damage path was approximately 800 yards wide and path length was 3 miles long. Extensive tree damage occurred in the Fort Custer area and the roof was blown off a firing range shelter. After the tornado ended, downburst damage continued for several more miles in Calhoun County. A severe thunderstorm struck a campground and mobile home park along Swan Lake in southern Allegan County. Trees were blown down onto mobile homes and small boats were blown out of the lake. Two minor injuries occurred. Top winds with the downburst were estimated at 70 mph. Thunderstorms in the Upper Peninsula produced high winds that knocked down trees and power lines. Power lines were knocked down in Ironwood and three to four inch diameter tree branches were broken off 16 miles northeast of Crystal Falls. Click here for a radar loop of the storms on this day. The attached slideshow has a few severe weather maps for the day.

2004 - Temperatures hovered in the mid-50s to 60s as a steady rain fell. In Detroit, the record low maximum of 64° (which occurred just after midnight) broke the old record of 70° set back in 1874. Lansing sets a record for the chilly high temperature with 66° and Flint with 63°.

2010 - Two EF0 tornadoes containing winds of 70 mph touched down near Iron Mountain in the early evening. The first one had a path length of 1/3 of a mile and path width of 100 yards. It touched down along 7th Avenue in the eastern sections of Norway and then crossed US-2 as it moved east northeastward towards Norway Mountain. The maximum wind speeds were estimated at 70 mph which made it an EF0 tornado. Several trees were knocked down or snapped off from the tornado. Some minor damage also occurred to structures from falling trees and tree limbs causing $10,000 worth of property damage. The second EF0 tornado touched down in a wooded area about one mile northeast of Vulcan. The tornado was on the ground for about one-quarter mile and had a width of less than 100 yards. Numerous trees were uprooted and snapped off from this tornado as its peak winds were estimated at 70 mph. Property damage with this tornado was $3,000. Nearly three inches of heavy rainfall flooded a large section of US-2 from Douglas to Lowell Street in Ironwood. Several houses and building were flooded near Hemlock Street on the west side of Ironwood with $10,000 in property damage in Ironwood. Click here for a radar loop of the storms on this day. The attached slideshow has a few severe weather maps for the day.

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