Severe storms and record heat 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 events that happened on September 30.
1871 – The wood freighter Free State, while carrying oats, wheat, flour and broom corn, ran aground in shallows at Gray’s Reef, 10 miles west of Waugoschance Point in Lake Michigan and wrecked in heavy fog. At first it seemed like she was in no danger, but as wreckers were preparing to come to her aid three days later, word came that she had broken up.
1881 – The month ended up with 12.73 inches of rain in Marquette, wettest month on record.
1895 – The wood schooner Lady Franklin, while carrying railroad ties, was caught by a gale while sheltering. She dragged her anchors until she parted her chains, was driven ashore in Hammond Bay near Cheboygan, MI in Lake Huron and wrecked. She was later stripped by thieves.
1899 – September ended on a very cool note with a record low of 21° at Lansing and afternoon highs only in the 40s. The high of 44° at Muskegon made for the coldest September maximum temperature on record there.
1987 – Afternoon thunderstorms in Michigan produced hail 1 inch in diameter at Pinckney, and wind gusts to 68 mph at Wyandotte. (National Weather Summary) (Storm Data) A thunderstorm brought 3/4-inch hail and winds gusting to 65 mph in Wayne County.
2002 – The very warm and dry month ended with record high temperatures of 86° at both Saginaw and Flint. Warm minimum temperatures accompanied the record highs with the following records, Muskegon 67°, Lansing 65°, Alpena 59°, Flint 64°, Marquette 58° and Sault Ste. Marie 59°. Flint ended the month with their driest September, 0.29 inches, and Saginaw had their second driest September, 0.39 inches. After an extremely hot and dry July and August, the weather of September 2002 only exasperated drought conditions. During the first half of the month, hundreds of communities across the area were under water restrictions. Hardest hit from the drought was the agricultural industry. September yields across most of the area were estimated at under 50 percent and many counties across eastern Michigan were declared agricultural disaster areas. Severe weather occurred on this day as an F1 tornado went through Iron Mountain. It developed near the Menominee River. The storm affected Kingsford, Iron Mountain, Quinessec, Breitung Township and Norway. Multiple bands of damage resulted from the tornado and straight-line winds. Widespread destruction occurred along the system’s 8 mile path with $7 million worth of damage. Roofs of several businesses and homes were torn off and numerous garages and sheds were destroyed. Downed trees and toppled and snapped power poles caused problems with up to 15,000 residents losing power and about 10,000 homes still did not have power into October 1st. This storm ended up spawning 3 tornadoes out of it with the first starting at 1811 CST in the Iron Mountain Kingsford area with a damage path of 4.5 miles and 200 yards wide, the second one was at 1819 CST in Quinnessec, and the last at 1825 CST near Norway. The first tornado was the strongest with the other two being F0. The second tornado had damage limited to minor roof damage (lifted shingles) in Quinnesec, trees downed and numerous branches broken with a damage path of 2 miles long and 100 yards wide. The 3rd tornado touched down approximately 5 miles northeast of Norway, crossing the Norway Truck Trail Road before dissipating 1/4 mile east of the road crossing which was 0.8 mile long and 100 yards wide. Damage was limited to downed trees and broken branches. A foot of water was reported over highway US-2 from torrential rain in Iron Mountain and two feet of water was reported over Highway US-2 in Quinnesec. Golf ball sized hail (1.75 inch) was reported in Covington, MI. This led to colder weather which produced the coldest October on record at WFO Marquette.Click here for a radar loop of the storms on this day. The slideshow on the left has a radar image of the storms.