Large hail, tornadoes, and record rain 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 May 25.
1896 – An estimated F5 tornado touched down and moved northeast for about 30 miles, affected portions of Oakland, Lapeer and Livingston Counties. Towns affected included Thomas, Ortonville and Oakwood just after 9:00 pm. With 47 deaths, this is the second deadliest tornado ever in Michigan trailing only the Flint-Beecher Tornado of 1953. Nine of the fatalities were in a single home in Ortonville and parts of some homes were found dozens of miles away. Twenty-two people were killed in Ortonville, ten in Oakwood, three in Thomas, four in North Oxford and three in Whigville with others in more rural areas. Other significant tornadoes occurred in Tuscola County with one fatality, and in Mt. Clemens where two people died when 30 homes were destroyed.
1988 – Unseasonably cool weather prevailed in the Upper Midwest. Marquette reported a record low of 29°. They go on to break this record in 2002 with a low of 28°.
1989 – A severe thunderstorm produced a wind gust to 75 mph 1 mile east northeast of Sault Ste. Marie in the St. Mary’s River in the early morning.
1992 – Widespread freezing temperatures do heavy damage to the fruit crop across southwest Lower Michigan. Record lows for today include the 29° at Lansing, 31° at Grand Rapids and 32° at Muskegon. Other record lows include Detroit with 35°, and Flint 30°.
1994 – Linden reported 3-inch hail at 6:30pm which caused $5,000,000 in crop damage.
2006 – Two weak tornadoes caused no damage as they briefly spun up between Beebe and Breckenridge in Gratiot County. Click here for a radar loop of the storms on this day. The attached slideshow has a few severe weather maps for the day
2008 – A severe thunderstorm dropped 2.5 inch hail (tennis ball sized) 1 mile west of Bark River in the early evening and 1.5 inch hail (ping pong ball sized) at Iron Mountain and 1 inch hail (quarter sized) in Alpha, 1 mile northeast of Spalding and in Wilson in the late afternoon.
2010 – The last day of record heat at Weather Forecast Office in Marquette with a record high temperature of 88° and a record high minimum temperature of 63°. Sault Ste. Marie also sees a record warm low temperature of 61° and a record high of 86°. Thunderstorms developed later that day. Ontonagon reported 60 mph wind gusts, 1 inch diameter hail (quarter sized), 1.63 inches of rain in 20 minutes, and some roads were washed out with some flash flooding from a severe thunderstorm. The Ontonagon Sheriff’s office reported roads in and near Ontonagon washed out due to heavy rainfall of two to three inches which fell in less than an hour. Flooding on River Street in Ontonagon forced water over the sidewalks and into some area businesses. The Ontonagon Sheriff’s office reported branches and small trees down in Ontonagon due to thunderstorm winds.
2011 – Thunderstorms produced heavy rain across much of Southeast Michigan. Flint received 1.28 inches, Detroit Metro Airport had 1.67 inches and Detroit City Airport recorded 3.03 inches. This rainfall added to the already very wet spring to produce numerous flooded roads and a few flooded homes. In fact, this rainfall helped to push Flint to its 2nd wettest May and wettest spring on record. It was the 2nd wettest spring in Detroit records.