Shipwrecks, a tornado, power outages, and record temperatures 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 August 18.
During a gale in 1871, the wood schooner Gen. Winfield Scott, while carrying lumber, was bound Menominee for Chicago when she sprang a leak and capsized off Spider Island, WI in Death’s Door in Lake Michigan. Crew clung to her for 13 hours until rescued by the passing schooner Ethan Allen. Her wreckage eventually came ashore on Hog Island, just east of Washington Island.
An unnamed wood pile driver sprang a leak and foundered in a gale near Muskallonge Lake Lifesaving Station in Lake Superior in 1892. United States Life-Saving Service saved her one crewman, as they had done on July 15 of the same year, when the same thing had happened.
In Saginaw 3.73 inches of rain fell in Saginaw in 1914. This is the record for greatest precipitation recorded in Saginaw in the month of August!
Autumn is in the air with record cool temperatures in 1943. Grand Rapids dipped to 41 degrees and 43 degrees at Muskegon.
West Michigan is in the midst of another heat wave in 1947 with Grand Rapids setting a record high of 97 degrees, and Muskegon 91 degrees, helping this to be the warmest August on record at these two cities. Lansing warms to a record 95 degrees making this the second warmest August on record. Other daily records include Alpena 100 degrees, Detroit 95 degrees, Flint 99 degrees, and Houghton Lake 97 degrees.
West Michigan is in the midst of another heat wave in 1955. Grand Rapids sets a record high of 97 degrees, helping this become the second hottest August on record there.
In 1987 an F0 tornado touched down in the mid-afternoon 8.8 miles south of Marquette or 5.8 miles south southwest of Harvey. It caused 300 dollars of property damage, was on the ground for 0.1 miles and was 20 yards wide.
Trees and power lines were knocked down by gusty west winds in 2004. A powerful cold front swept across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula during the afternoon. Scattered showers and a few thunderstorms accompanied the frontal passage. One thunderstorm in Menominee County became severe and produced wind gusts in excess of 60 mph, which felled large trees near Stephenson. A gusty southwest wind turned sharply to the northwest soon after the frontal passage, and wind gusts approaching 60 mph blew down trees and caused power outages on the Keweenaw Peninsula.