The captain’s dog, record cold, and heavy snow 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. 16.
The wood schooner Sovereign of the Seas, while carrying pig iron, coal and merchandise in 1853, was bound Buffalo for Milwaukee and Racine, when she went on the rocky shoal of Skillagallee shoal in Lake Michigan and was wrecked in a gale. Part of her cargo was reportedly recovered, and the vessel abandoned, where she broke up soon after. This was one of her first trips, having been launched about Sep. 23.
In 1883, a temperature of five degrees was observed with snow and wind at the Ontonagon lighthouse during the early morning. The wood, passenger and package freight Manistee, while carrying mixed freight, broke up offshore west of the Keweenaw Peninsula off Eagle Harbor in Lake Superior and foundered in a gale in one of Lake Superior’s worst disasters. She was bound Bayfield, Wis. for Ontonagon, Mich. It was later reported that Capt. John McKay, had chosen to challenge the violent storm, which had driven several other vessels to port. A “note in a bottle” from Capt. McKay, deemed to be authentic, was found in May of 1885, near Fish River. Another found near Bayfield in 1897 was also thought to be real. Of the crewmen, 23 of 26 perished.
The wood, bulk freight Pacific, while carrying lumber in 1887, grounded on a shoal after leaving the dock during a gale near Deer Park, Mich. in Lake Superior, then was broken up by a gale on the nineteenth. Bound Deer Park for Michigan City, Ind. The nearby Lifesaving Service took her crew off, and later returned for the captain’s dog.
In 1888, the wood tug Magdalena was driven ashore by a gale. She became a total wreck at Grant’s Island, Ont. in Lake Huron in the North Channel.
The wooden fishing tug T.H. Camp, while carrying lumber camp supplies in 1900, struck a reef and sank in a gale near Madeline Island in the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior. She was a fish tug which had been chartered as a temporary cargo carrier and was bound for Madeline Island. She went down in 200 feet of water.
In 1927, the steel, bulk freight “turret steamer” Jolly Inez was stranded near Saddle Bag Island in Lake Huron and was heavily damaged in a gale, declared a total loss. However, she was recovered the next spring, her engines removed and her hull repaired and returned to service as the barge Salvor.
A snow storm that started late in the day on Nov. 15, 1933, dumped 9.0 inches of snow on Detroit. This is the heaviest snowstorm in the month of November for Detroit.
In 1933, several days of record cold settle into the Great Lakes. Low temperatures include 11 degrees below zero at Houghton Lake, 14 degrees in Muskegon, 11 degrees in Grand Rapids, five degrees in Lansing, zero degrees in Alpena, eight degrees in Detroit, seven degrees in Flint and three degrees in Sault Ste. Marie.
In 1943, Sault Ste. Marie observes their heaviest daily snowfall ever recorded for the month of November. They logged a total of 14.3 inches.
A vast area of arctic high pressure brings record cold to much of the continental United States in 1959. High temperatures only reach the teens across much of Lower Michigan followed by record lows in the single digits on the morning of the seventeenth.
A snowstorm hit Flint and Saginaw and it came to an end during the early part of Nov. 17, 1989. Saginaw received 8.0 inches of snow while Flint recorded 7.7 inches. Lansing observes 9.3 inches during this two-day storm.
In 2005, a low pressure system developing over the central Plains deepened as it moved over eastern Lake Superior in the morning. Abundant moisture associated with this storm system dropped heavy, wet snow across much of west and central Upper Michigan. 12-hour snowfall totals ending on the morning of the sixteenth included 11 inches near Little Lake in Marquette County and 11 inches at Rockland in Ontonagon County. Ten inch snow amounts were reported at Bruce Crossing, Watton, Kenton and Iron River with eight inches at Watersmeet in Gogebic County. Widespread eight to nine inch amounts were reported over the Keweenaw Peninsula with six to eight inch amounts across Dickinson County. The wet, heavy snow caused a number of minor traffic accidents and closed many area schools, including Northern Michigan University in Marquette. The snow also downed tree limbs and caused widespread power outages in Dickinson and Iron Counties and scattered power outages in southern and western Marquette County. Due to the prolonged power outages to around 1,100 customers, a state of emergency was declared in Dickinson County for 24-36 hours in the storm’s wake. Numerous trees downed in Bay Mills and Barbeau in Chippewa County from this winter storm.