Tornadoes, record heat and numerous shipwrecks 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 September 18.
1856 - Wood brig, 2-mast Sandusky, while carrying grain, was bound Chicago for Buffalo, she sank with her masts emerging in a gale 5 miles and 280 degrees from Old Mackinac Pt. Straits of Mackinac in Lake Michigan. Her crew climbed up, but none of the several vessels who saw them were able to assist. She was a total loss of $18,000 and all 7 crew members perished. The wreck was located in 1985.
1869 - The wood schooner, 2-mast Nightingale, while carrying iron ore, struck what was later the site of Spectacle Reef light in a storm and foundered in the Straits of Mackinac on the Lake Huron side. Wreckage and cargo had to be removed in 1872 when the lighthouse was built. Tug Magnet did the work.
1871 - The wood schooner Dan. Tindall, while carrying 270,000 board feet of lumber, was bound Oconto, Wis. for Chicago when she went ashore in heavy weather on the north side of North Bay, Wisconsin in Lake Michigan and became a total loss.
1872 - The wood schooner Lydia Case, while carrying coal, was blown ashore at Pilot Island, WI in Lake Michigan in a northeast gale and became a total loss.
1884 - The wooden schooner Alaska, went aground in a gale on Bois Blanc Island, MI in the straits of Mackinac and broke up.
1898 - The wood schooner-barge Mediator, while carrying lumber, was in tow of the steamer Kalkaska and bound Duluth for Chicago, she was torn loose in a gale and driven ashore south of Eagle River, MI in Lake Superior. Her tow mate J.H. Mead was also cast ashore, but was recovered. Crews made it to the beach on their own. Later removed from the beach and towed to Houghton, but too badly damaged to be returned to service. Her remains were later abandoned off the grounds of Michigan Technological University.
1906 – This was a hot day for West Michigan with new record high temperatures set. Grand Rapids reaches 94° and Muskegon a cool record of 86°.
1918 - A tornado destroyed a large barn about 5 miles southeast of Grand Haven in Ottawa County, and carried the timbers a half mile.
1955 – Most of the major cities in Michigan see new record highs on this date. Lansing ties 1906 record with a high 93°. Alpena climbs to record 93°, Detroit 92°, Flint 93°, Houghton Lake 87°, and Sault Ste. Marie 86°. Grand Rapids and Muskegon fall short of the 1906 records. Grand Rapids only observes a high of 90° and Muskegon 85°.
1977 - The tornado sirens beat the alarm clocks when an F1 tornado hit St. Clair County at a VERY EARLY 2:25AM.