Deadly tornado outbreak and snow top the list of Michigan weather events on this day in history. From the National Weather Service and Storm Prediction Center (SPC) archives here are the Michigan weather events that happened on October 24.
1933 – An early season snowstorm left the Saginaw area with 5 inches of snow and Alpena with 4.4 inches.
1967 – A tornado injures four people as it destroys a trailer in Monterrey Township, Allegan County.
1991 – The overnight temperature dropped to only 63° in Flint, which is the daily record for the highest minimum temperature in Flint. This also happens to be the second night in a string of four nights (October 23-26) in which record high minimum temperatures were recorded! Other cities observing record high minimum temperatures for the date include Grand Rapids 63°, Muskegon 62°, Lansing 62°, Alpena 59°, Detroit 61°, Houghton Lake 57°, and Sault Ste. Marie 56°.
2001 – Afternoon and evening storms produced widespread damage from Mississippi to Michigan.
Six tornadoes were reported mainly on the east side of the state. In West Michigan several houses were damaged and trees knocked down in Cass County.
There were a few reports of large hail in Holland and Grandville.
Most of the wind damage reports were form trees and power lines. There was one death and 4 injuries as a result of the wind. In Cass County a tree was blown down onto a pickup truck and killed the driver. Another injury occurred when a tree fell onto a car, also in Cass County. Three people were injured when the wind overturned trailers in Calhoun County.
The National Weather Service offices from around the region list the following details of the events on this day.
Grand Rapids – A squall line moves across southern Lower Michigan producing widespread wind damage and several tornadoes. The town of Schoolcraft in Kalamazoo County is hit by winds estimated up to 100 mph, causing extensive tree damage and some structural damage. The town of Marshall in Calhoun County also sustains some damage to homes as winds gust between 60 and 80 mph.
Detroit – On October 24, 2001, a strong cold front moved into the Great Lakes region during the early morning hours of the 25th. Ahead of this cold front, warm air surged northward into the Great Lakes. Thunderstorms developed ahead of the cold front late in the afternoon of the 24th and continued into the evening. These thunderstorms extended from the Great Lakes all the way to the Deep South. Strong winds just off the surface allowed some of the thunderstorms that developed across southern Michigan to become severe. Most of the severe storms caused damaging winds gusts with a few hail reports. Most of the wind gusts were estimated between 60 and 70 mph, but isolated locations in Lapeer County gusted up to 100 mph. Some of the thunderstorms developed rotation, a few of which produced tornadoes. Three tornadoes were spawned from the thunderstorms including an F0 near Fosters, an F1 from Hartland to Davisburg, and another F1 from near Munger to Quanicassee.
South Bend – This area’s second largest tornado outbreak (tied with the Palm Sunday outbreak of April 11, 1965) took place as ten tornadoes spun across the region. Two of the tornadoes produced F3 damage in St. Joseph County Indiana and Putnam County Ohio. There were two fatalities, one in LaPorte County and one the following January in Saint Joseph County, Indiana. Click here for more details. Elsewhere…70 mph winds blew threw Grovertown (Starke County). Roof damage occurred near Kewanna (Fulton County Indiana). Hail 1.75″ in diameter fell two miles east of Columbia City and in Ottoville (Putnam County). A house near Waterloo (DeKalb County) lost its roof. A barn was destroyed seven miles north of Coldwater. A shed and a barn were destroyed three miles east of Camden (Hillsdale County).
Lansing Downbursts of October 24, 2001
Radar animation from the Storm Prediction Center
The slideshow on the left side of this story has more weather images from these storms.