The heaviest October snowstorm, wind, and shipwrecks 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 Oct. 27.
The wood schooner Magnolia, while carrying corn in 1856, went ashore in a gale. She was wrecked, declared a total loss at Gull Island, Mich. in Lake Michigan.
In 1898, the wood schooner John Jewett, was loading lumber at the Grace Harbor Lumber Company dock. The area was struck by a sudden heavy storm. Huge seas drove her right through the dock and ashore, where she pounded to pieces at Hammond Bay, eastern Straits of Mackinac in Lake Huron.
This was a very warm day across Lower Michigan in 1927, with highs in the upper 70s and low 80s. Records include Grand Rapids at 78 degrees, Lansing 80 degrees, Alpena 79 degrees, Detroit 78 degrees, Flint 76 degrees, and Houghton Lake 84 degrees.
In 1929, a winter storm established a record (at the time) for the state of Michigan by dumping 27 inches of snow on Ishpeming in 24 hours.
The heaviest October snowstorm on record strikes southwest Lower Michigan in 1967, with widespread amounts greater than 6 inches. A total of 8.4 inches at Grand Rapids is almost double the amount of the next greatest October snowstorm. Muskegon observes their greatest daily October snowfall with 4.7 inches and Lansing sees 7.5 inches, which are also October records. On the east side of the state, Saginaw had another early season snowstorm that left 5.0 inches of snow covering the region.
In 1997, low pressure tracked northeast across Ohio late on the 26th through early morning on the 27th. Rain changed to snow over the Saginaw Valley and Flint area during the evening on the 26th, and snow continued until around daybreak on the 27th. Accumulations were mostly from three to six inches, with a maximum of six inches reported at Saint Charles, in Saginaw County. The combination of the heavy wet snow, and the fact that many trees had not yet lost their leaves, resulted in widespread tree damage and downed power lines. Around 40,000 homes lost power on the 27th. Measurable snow fell as far south as the northern suburbs of Detroit.
A historically deep low pressure system tracked northeast through Minnesota and into Ontario in 2010. A tight pressure gradient whipped up storm force winds over northern Lake Michigan on the 27th. The Fairport Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS) consistently measured storm force winds in the morning with a peak gust to 68 mph. Grand Rapids observed a peak gust of 55 mph. Southeast Michigan experienced prolonged strong westerly winds, generally in the 45 to 55 mph range, but a few gusts in the 55 to 60 mph range were observed north of M-59, blowing down dozens of trees and tree limbs within most of those counties.