Closed Mackinac Bridge, large hail, and blizzard conditions 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 Nov. 13.
The wood, package and bulk freight B.L. Webb, while carrying supplies for Marquette in 1856, stranded in a gale at Waiska Bay, just west of the Soo in Whitefish Bay and later burned. She was only 47 days old at the time and was a 50,000 dollar loss. One man froze to death in the accident. The gutted hull was recovered the next year.
In 1896, the wood schooner Senator Blood, while carrying 575 tons of coal, was bound Cleveland for Detour. She went aground and became a total wreck in a gale at Goose Island Shoal, Straits of Mackinac in Lake Huron. Her crew was rescued by the steamer Alva after spending a night in the rigging.
The wood, bulk freight Major was damaged by waves at the end of the “Big Storm” of 1913. She sprang a leak and was abandoned by her crew when she began to sink in Whitefish Bay, Lake Superior. She was thought to have foundered, but later found still afloat.
The composite, bulk freight John Owen, while carrying barley in 1919, was torn to pieces in a gale offshore between Stannard Rock and Manitou Island in Lake Superior and foundered in huge waves. All 23 crew members perished.
In 1920, Wayne County (Northwest Detroit area) received four inch diameter hail around 7:20 p.m. This is one of the largest, if not the largest, ever recorded in Detroit.
High temperatures are held in the upper teens to lower 20s as arctic air pours into Lower Michigan in 1986. Grand Rapids starts the day with a record cold 10 degrees. The high of 19 degrees at Grand Rapids is a record for the date and the coldest high temperature for so early in the season. Other daily record lows for the day include Flint 12 degrees, Houghton Lake 11 degrees, Marquette five degrees below zero, and Sault Ste. Marie four degrees. Daily records for chilly high temperatures include Muskegon 24 degrees, Lansing 20 degrees, Alpena 23 degrees, Flint 19 degrees, Houghton Lake 19 degrees, Marquette 15 degrees, and Sault Ste. Marie 20 degrees.
A rapidly deepening storm moved across northern Wisconsin eastward into southeast Canada in 2003. Snow developed over western and central Upper Michigan and became heavy at times. Northwest winds behind the storm increased to as high as 40 mph, resulting in areas of blowing and drifting snow. Blizzard conditions occurred near Lake Superior in Alger, Luce and Northern Schoolcraft Counties with frequent periods of zero visibility. Schools and a few businesses were closed in Gogebic, Ontonagon, Baraga and Marquette counties and some roads were blocked in Houghton and Keweenaw counties. The snow was wet and heavy, breaking off tree branches and downing power and telephone lines and hampering plowing and cleanup efforts. Roads were slick and hazardous, restricting travel across the area.
In 2005, a big wind storm occurred across the U.P as another strong low pressure system moved northeast across Lake Superior. Damaging winds occurred across the U.P. as highlighted by the following reports. A 62 mph gust was measured at Point Iroquois. Hundreds of trees were downed, and power outages were widespread as utility poles were snapped and power lines were brought down. A number of homes lost shingles, and several homes and vehicles saw substantial damage when struck by falling trees. Business signs and billboards were blown over in Chippewa County. The Mackinac Bridge was closed to all trucks and trailers, causing tremendous backups during this very busy travel period (the lead-up to deer firearms season). Measured wind gust of 63 mph at the Copper Harbor Automated Surface Observing System site. Numerous trees knocked down and power outages reported throughout Menominee County. Six-inch diameter tree downed three miles north of Escanaba in the town of Wells. Power outages were also reported in Wells. A 50-foot willow tree fell on a home in Garth Point just south of Rapid River. The house sustained minor roof damage. A tree was blown down at intersection of Highway M-35 and County Road 480, five miles southeast of Negaunee. Another tree blown down across Forestville Road two miles west of Marquette and a tree came down on County Road 492, eight miles southeast of Negaunee. A tree came down at intersection of Neegee Road and County Road 510 eight miles northeast of Negaunee. Along Highway M-35 in Negaunee, a tree came down on a wire and another tree down fell on wire along Highway US-41 in Negaunee Township. Small trees and branches knocked down in Manistique and a power line was also knocked down. There was a small building damaged with torn shingles and siding.