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Tropical rain, wrecked schooners, lightning damage and very gusty wind

Almanac 4 September 2014
Almanac 4 September 2014
Grand Rapids Weather Examiner

Tropical rain, wrecked schooners, lightning damage and very gusty wind 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 4.

1886 - The wood schooner, 2-mast J.F. Tracy went aground in a gale on the west side of Beaver Island in Lake Michigan and was wrecked just offshore. She was considered unseaworthy and uninsurable and was abandoned as a total loss.

1895 - The wood schooner-barge, 2-mast Richard Winslow, while carrying iron ore, was in tow of steamer Inter-Ocean, when she sprang a leak during a gale and foundered at White Shoal Beaver Passage in Lake Michigan. Her crew was rescued by the tow steamer with great difficulty. She came to rest with her masts above water. Her cargo was recovered a couple years later by wrecking master Baker from Detroit and the boat flattened by explosives in 1902.

1916 - Lightning struck a farmhouse in the Soo Township completely destroying the chimney, tore up sections of the roof, ceiling and floor with the downpour dousing the fire that broke out while a couple and their son slept. They weren't injured. A barn at Parkerville, MI was struck by lightning and 70 tons of hay and some farm implements destroyed with livestock saved by the farmer and his neighbors. 5.64 inches of rain fell the 3rd and 4th in Sault Ste. Marie with a total of 5.83 inches in 31 hours which was a record for heavy rainfall in Sault Ste. Marie that stood until 1974.

1965 - A tornado struck east of Grand Haven, destroying a barn, silo and factory. Debris was carried over two miles.

1973 - The Detroit daytime temperature rose to 92°, which is the record high temperature for the day. The very next year, in 1974, the overnight temperature dropped to 40°, which is the record low temperature for this day!

1974 – In addition to the record low temperature in Detroit other cities observe records including Grand Rapids with 38°, and Muskegon with 36°.

2007 - Severe thunderstorms produced damaging wind and large hail over portions of western Upper Michigan in the morning. Top half of an eight to ten-foot tall tree was knocked over with four inch diameter branches on a few vehicles. A brief power outage occurred in Wakefield. Marquette observes a record 4.29 inches of rain, which is the highest daily rainfall ever observed.

2008 - The remnants of Hurricane Gustav brought heavy rains to southern Lower Michigan. Muskegon sets a daily rainfall record of 3.25 inches and Grand Rapids sets a record with 2.82 inches. Rainfall amounts were much lower to the north but records were still set. These include Alpena with 1.02” and Houghton Lake with 0.97”.

2010 - Strong area of low pressure went across eastern Lake Superior and produced some very strong winds across the eastern U.P. in the afternoon of the 3rd into the morning of the 4th. Stannard Rock gusted to 72 mph, Grand Marais to 64 mph, Munising to 54 mph and this caused record wind and waves on Lake Superior for the month of September of at least 17 feet in the eastern Lake Superior buoy. The ship, Indiana Harbor, was in the middle of the storm just west/north of Stannard Rock. They had some damage to equipment and deck rails due to: 100+ mph instantaneous winds between 6 pm and 11 pm. (Peak -- 144 mph) and blue water over the deck with frequent waves up to 25-30 feet.

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