Heavy snow, the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, and a dry Saginaw Bay 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. 10.
The wood scow-schooner, two mast Emily Taylor, while carrying wood in 1901, was bound Arthur Bay for Green Bay, when she drove into the shallows of Heizer Bay, 20 miles north of Menominee, Mich. in the bay of Green Bay where waves broke completely over her all night in a gale. The captain had his wife and two children aboard, plus two sailors, all were rescued by local fishermen.
In 1913, the steamer Cornell had a harrowing 78 hours in a gale on Lake Superior and ended up back where it started from. The Cornell left the Sault on the afternoon of the seventh heading for Two Harbors, Minn. They made it that evening to Whitefish Point expecting a southwest gale and got a light southeast wind. The Cornell encountered heavy northwest seas around midnight on the eighth with a southeast breeze. Early on the eighth, they encountered very high waves and a sudden violent windshift to the north with blinding snow. They were 90 miles north of Whitefish Point and the winds and waves, despite having the engines on full, pushed them back south to near Deer Park 12 hours later. On the ninth, the Cornell tried to sail north and was south of Caribou Island when a strong northeast wind hit them. The boat battled the gale until on the tenth; high seas came over the aft of the boat with a wave estimated to be 40 feet high. This wave flooded the dining room and galley and broke doors and windows. The big storm on the Great Lakes wrecked many ships from the eighth to the tenth. Two hundred sailors died on Lake Huron which is the deadliest storm ever to strike the Great Lakes.
A powerful storm brought high winds across Lower Michigan in 1975, toppling trees and power lines. A tornado was spun up by the storm, damaging mobile homes and a barn in Allegan County. The Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior during the storm, with a crew of 29 men. There were no survivors. The ore carrier left Superior, Wis. on Nov. 9, loaded with 26,116 tons of taconite pellets. The cargo was to be delivered to Detroit, but the ship ran into winds of at least 60 mph and high waves and foundered at about 7:30 p.m. north of Whitefish Point. Read a scientific article about the weather of the 1975 storm here: Reexamination of the 9–10 November 1975 “Edmund Fitzgerald” Storm Using Today’s Technology. See the attached video for more about the wreck. Read this article about the changes to the famous song: Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald – Gordon Lightfoot changes his song lyrics in 2010.
On this day in 1998, a November storm lashes the Great Lakes with wind gusts up to 90 mph. Over 167,000 homes were without power and cleanup efforts were extensive as many homes and businesses suffered roof and siding damage and thousands of trees were blown down. A waterspout on Lake Michigan briefly moved inland near Muskegon, but rapidly dissipated and caused no damage. Power was knocked out to parts of the U.P. from the strong winds. Sustained winds of 82 mph were reported on Mackinac Island with a peak gust to 95 mph. The peak gust was one of the highest ever recorded in Michigan. Trees and other debris were blown around the southeast tip of the U.P. with significant beach erosion west of Manistique. Property damage was 450,000 dollars with crop damage at 10 million dollars which was the value of timber lost in the Ottawa and Hiawatha National Forests. Damage was reported across the region with business signs blown down and roofs damaged as well as damage to homes, vehicles, utility poles, power lines and transformers from falling trees and branches. The strong winds even blew away a city’s holiday decorations. Widespread power outages were reported due to downed trees and limbs across power lines. Some residents in rural areas of Delta and Schoolcraft counties were without power for up to three days following the storm as power companies struggled to clear downed trees and repair broken lines. Here’s a description of the storm for Southeast Michigan where high winds occurred in two phases. Winds reached high wind criteria across southeast Michigan early in the afternoon of the tenth, associated with a cold front racing east across the state. A line of showers accompanied the front, locally enhancing wind speeds. Wind speeds increased again in the evening. The highest winds during the entire event occurred within a couple of hours of midnight. Both periods of high winds caused significant damage across the area. In the afternoon, the walls of a church under construction were destroyed in Troy. A warehouse in Flint was deroofed, and a second warehouse roof was damaged. Damage was more widespread with the higher wind speeds that occurred at night. Trees, limbs, and power lines were downed across all of southeast Michigan. In Owosso, a roof under construction collapsed, and a church under construction in Ida (Monroe County) was also damaged. Near Mt. Clemens, a boat rack storing a number boats of collapsed. A 70 mph wind gust was measured at the National Weather Service office in White Lake. The extended period of strong winds caused an interesting phenomena on Saginaw Bay. Southwest gales pushed water out of the bay and into the main body of Lake Huron. The water level on Saginaw Bay bottomed out at an amazing 50 inches below chart datum! Most of Saginaw Bay is quite shallow, and the removal of over five feet of water exposed a huge portion of the bay bed; some estimate that up to half of the area of the bay briefly became dry land during the storm!
In 2006, a storm system originating in the Plains moved into the Lower Great Lakes. This system brought a swath of heavy, wet snow to portions of south central Upper Michigan. Observers at Hardwood and just north of Iron Mountain measured nine inches of snow. Poor visibility and snowpacked highways were blamed for numerous traffic accidents during the storm.
Record heat at Weather Forecast Office in Marquette in 2010. The office observed a record high temperature of 57 degrees.