Thunderstorms, record heat, a tornado and heavy 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 August 21.
1955 – This was a hot day across the state with numerous records set for the daily high temperatures. Records include Grand Rapids 97 degrees, Muskegon 93 degrees, Lansing 99 degrees, Alpena 99 degrees, Detroit 100 degrees, Flint 97 degrees, Houghton Lake 96 degrees, Marquette 94 degrees and Sault Ste. Marie 91 degrees.
1958 – Heavy rains fall for the second day in a row, causing some flooding in the Grand Rapids area where the two day rain total from August 20-21 was over four inches.
1975 – A tornado blew down fruit trees in an orchard at Climax, in Kalamazoo County. An F0 tornado developed from a severe thunderstorm passing through Wayne County caused 3,000 dollars in damages.
2003 – Two large trees were knocked over along highway M-123 eight miles north of Newberry. Several trees were blown down along highway M-77 three miles north of Seney at 2:30 p.m. Several travel trailers were damaged and numerous trees were blown down in Muskallonge State Park 22 miles north of Newberry. A cold front moving across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula kicked off scattered showers and thunderstorms during the morning and early afternoon. Several of the thunderstorms became severe over eastern Upper Michigan, producing high winds and large hail. Thunderstorms developed in moist, unstable air ahead a cold front that moved through Wisconsin and across Lake Michigan. The storms produced wind gusts to 51 knots at the Green Bay Harbor Entrance Light and at Sister Bay and a gust to 49 knots at the buoy on Lake Michigan midway between Washington Island (WI) and North Manitou Island (MI) at 3 a.m. Temperatures soared into the 90s as a cold front passed through southeast Michigan during the evening hours. Thunderstorms developed just after 6 p.m. over Saginaw Bay and continued to develop to the southwest. This was a major severe event with hail up to the size of golf balls in Huron and Genesee Counties, and wind damage from Monroe and Washtenaw Counties to Lapeer and Sanilac Counties. In West Michigan a tornado with top winds around 120 mph strikes eastern Ingham County injuring two people and destroying two homes. The damage path was four and a half miles long and up to one half mile wide. Click here for a radar loop of the storms on this day. The attached slideshow has a few severe weather maps for the day.