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Whiteout conditions, the latest subzero reading, and record rain

Almanac 25 March 2014 Click on image for a larger view
Almanac 25 March 2014 Click on image for a larger view
Grand Rapids Weather Examiner

Whiteout conditions, the latest subzero reading, and record rain 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 March 25.

1945 - Record high temperatures for the day were set simultaneously in Grand Rapids with 77°, Muskegon 76°, Lansing 77°, Alpena 69°, Detroit 78°, Flint 79°, Saginaw 80°, Houghton Lake 75° and Sault Ste. Marie 58°. The records for Muskegon, Alpena and Sault Ste. Marie were broken or tied in later years.

1947 – Just two years later a snowstorm dumped 13.3 inches on Saginaw. This was the 11th heaviest snowstorm in Saginaw history. Alpena receives a daily of record 14”, Flint 7.2” and Houghton Lake 6.3”.

1954 - Heavy rain and high winds occur as a cold front moves through. Grand Rapids measures 2.82 inches of rain for their wettest March day on record. Flooding of streams is widespread and winds gusting over 70 mph causes roof damage and uproots trees. Other Cities record daily records for rainfall, including Muskegon 1.1”, Lansing 1.43”, Detroit 1.73”, and Flint 1.06”.

1974 - Grand Rapids falls to -1° for its latest subzero reading on record. Other cold records for the date include Detroit , Houghton Lake -16°, and Sault Ste. Marie -11°.

1979 - Marquette, Alger and Dickinson counties were brought to a standstill by a blizzard on the 24 and 25th with travel becoming impossible. Authorities were forced to close many roads in those counties. Marquette County airport in Negaunee township was forced to shut down for two days as winds gusted to 45 mph and Sawyer Air force Base reported wind gusts to 55 mph during the blizzard of March 24th-25th. The city of Marquette reported 18 inches of snow while the Weather Forecast Office in Marquette had 27 inches of snow from the March 24-25th blizzard.

1996 - Low pressure moved northeast across Iowa during the evening of the 24th and over Wisconsin during the early morning of the 25th. The low then crossed Northern Lake Michigan and reached Sault Ste. Marie around 11 am EST on the 25th. Light snow developed over West Upper Michigan during the afternoon of the 24th and spread into North Central Upper Michigan and became heavy during the evening. Meanwhile, a mix of rain and freezing rain developed east of Marquette and Iron Mountain. Shortly after midnight on the 25th, north winds accelerated with frequent gusts above 40 mph. This caused whiteout conditions across much of West and North Central Upper Michigan for most of the day on the 25th. The whiteout conditions lead to a fatal traffic accident between 2 semi-trucks on Highway M28 in Matchwood Township 2 miles east of Bergland in Ontonagon County. The whiteouts also closed Highway M28 between Marquette and Munising during the afternoon and evening of the 25th. The mixed precipitation east of Marquette and Iron Mountain changed to all snow between 7 and 10 am on the 25th, but the heavy snow was confined to the west half of Upper Michigan. The snow diminished to flurries during the evening of the 25th. Snow totals included 30 inches at Ontonagon, 28 inches at Rockland, 24 inches at Chassell and Ahmeek, 20 inches at L'anse, Watersmeet, Houghton and Ironwood, 18 inches at Silver City, Watton and Herman, 14 inches at Marquette and Iron River and 10 inches at Deerton and Champion.