A powerful early fall storm, heavy wet snow and waterspouts 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 29.
1869 – The wood scow-schooner, 2-mast Sunshine, while carrying lumber, was bound White Lake, Mich, for Chicago, when she was struck by a southwest gale and was beached at north point of North Bay, Wisconsin on Lake Michigan to save her. She was mostly destroyed by December.
1881 – 5.5 inches of rain fell in Marquette, the greatest one day total ever recorded there flooding sidewalks and cellars. In Ishpeming, Partridge Creek flooded a large part of town with alleys and backyards under 4 feet of water and area mines flooded.
1888 – The schooner, wood, 3-mast, bulk freighter Brandon, while carrying 1000 tons of railroad rails, was in tow of tug James A. Walker with schooners Jennie and Regina. She sprang a leak and foundered 40 miles southwest of Isle Royale during a gale in Lake Superior. Brand new at the time, the question was later raised as to whether she was overladen.
1891 – The wood fish tug Bertha Endress was bound Soo, Ont. for Michipicoten Island with machinery for the mine there; she sank in a gale in Lake Superior in Whitefish Bay off Pt. Iroquois. The sons of two of the owners of the Michipicoten Mine were among the lost. All 5 crew members perished.
1895 – The wood freighter Charles J. Kershaw was bound for Marquette, when she burst a steam pipe in a gale and drifted into Chocolay Reef, near Marquette, MI, in Lake Superior where she was pounded to pieces and was a total loss. Her two barges, Henry A. Kent and Moonlight went up on the beach so high that one could walk around them without getting one’s feet wet. Both were recovered the next year. U.S. Lifesavers took Kershaw’s crew off.
1898 – The wooden schooner, Active, departed Sister Bay, WI for Ford River, MI. She went ashore near the pier of Ford River in a gale when her captain mistook the lights of a home for the pier light. She piled ashore 2 miles south of the pier, where she later went to pieces. She was carrying 40 tons of hay. Also on this day the wood, bulk freight Toledo, while carrying 475,000 board feet lumber, was downbound with barge Shawnee in tow, when she sprang a leak in a gale and began to founder. Kept afloat by her cargo, she was towed into Portage harbor and sank off the upper entrance to Portage Ship Canal in Lake Superior. She partially blocked the lower end of the canal and was later dynamited as a navigational hazard.
1953 – Temperatures soared to the 90s across western Michigan. Grand Rapids hit 93° and Muskegon 92°, both record highs and records for the latest date of a 90° reading. Other records for the date include Lansing 91°, and Detroit 89°.
1966 – In Detroit the pressure dropped to 989mb during the passage of an intense early fall low pressure system. This is the lowest pressure reading ever recorded for Detroit in the month of September.
1967 – Wet snowflakes fell at Grand Rapids and Lansing. Cold air accompanies the snow with record cold highs around the state including Grand Rapids 43°, Muskegon 46°, Lansing 42°, Alpena 47°, Detroit 45°, Flint 42°, and Houghton Lake 40°. The highs at Lansing, Grand Rapids, Flint, and Houghton Lake are the coldest high temperature for the month of September.
1986 – A severe weather outbreak produces high winds, large hail and two tornadoes across Lower Michigan. One person was injured in Van Buren County as a tornado hit near Mattawan. Six houses were destroyed by a tornado near Rankin in Genesee County.
1993 – 2 inches of wet, heavy snow fell in the higher elevations around Marquette. NWS Marquette reported 1.7 inches of daily record snowfall.
2006 – Several waterspouts were observed on Lake Michigan. One was about 5 miles offshore of Holland, while another was sighted just offshore of Saugatuck. This waterspout approached the coast and may have come onshore, but no damage was noted.
2011 – A powerful early fall storm affected much of Upper Michigan with its effects lingering into the 30th. Strong winds and heavy rain were associated with this system, causing tree damage and power outages across Upper Michigan. In some areas, the power was still out through October 2nd. The strong nature of the winds was due to a combination of a rapidly strengthening low pressure system moving out of northern Minnesota and a strong high pressure system across the northern Great Plains and southern Canada. As the storm moved east throughout the day, light southerly to westerly winds quickly changed to very strong northerly winds at many locations. This system was a heavy rain producer for a majority of the U.P., with rainfall totals greater than 1″ central and east. The greatest totals were recorded in Marquette and Alger counties near Lake Superior, where over 2″ was common. At the National Weather Service office in Negaunee Township, the 2.90″ recorded for 9/29/2011 was the 5th highest daily precipitation total since weather records begin in 1961 and was also a record daily precipitation for this date. The Alger County Sheriff reported numerous trees down across roads and power lines across the county. Several of the trees were greater than 12 inches in diameter. Several trees were reported down in the Escanaba and Gladstone area as tree branches fell across roads and power lines. Over 100 customers in rural Escanaba and Gladstone were without power into the evening of the 30th. Numerous trees were down and power knocked out in Ironwood and the west end of Lake Gogebic. The top of a pine tree was also snapped off in Wakefield. Several trees were knocked down and hundreds were without power across Houghton County into the morning of the 30th. The Keweenaw County Sheriff reported multiple large trees down across roads throughout Keweenaw County. Power was out in Copper Harbor from 1545-2115 EDT. Strong north winds from the storm knocked down numerous large trees across roads and power lines and caused widespread power outages across Marquette County from the evening of the 29th into the morning of the 30th. Thousands of residences in Marquette, Harvey, Skandia, Negaunee, Ishpeming and Gwinn were without power from the evening of the 29th into the 30th. Some customers were without power for several days. The most extensive and widespread tree damage observed was on Partridge Bay Trail off of County Road 550 just northwest of Marquette where hundreds of one to two-foot diameter oak and quaking aspen trees were toppled across the road. Heavy rain accompanying the storm also caused ponding of water on city streets. In addition, bricks blown off the Pioneer Square Building in Ishpeming caused extensive damage to a pickup truck. $70,000 in damage was caused by the weather. An awning was blown off of a business on Highway US-45 in Rockland. Several trees were reported down in the Manistique area. A rapidly deepening low pressure system moving through the Upper Great Lakes resulted in north storm force wind gusts across much of Lake Superior in the evening. A 58 mph wind gust was measured at the Rock of Ages C-Man station and at the Grand Traverse Bay GLOS site. A 69 mph wind gust was measured at the Stannard Rock C-MAN station. 64 mph gusts were measured at the Big Bay GLOS site and a spotter measured a 64 mph wind gust on a hand-held anemometer at the pavilion on Presque Isle in Marquette. A 59 mph wind gust was measured at the Grand Marais GLOS site. High winds developed over the waters of Green Bay when an area of low pressure intensified as it passed northeast of Wisconsin. Some of the highest measured wind gusts near the waters of Green Bay included 60 knots at Yacht Works Marina in Sister Bay, 59 knots at Chambers Island, and 52 knots at Door County Cherryland Airport in Sturgeon Bay. High winds over the waters of Green Bay slammed boats against docks, sinking a boat in Egg Harbor and grounding another at Ephraim causing $10,000 in damage.