A shipwreck, a tornado and flooding top the list of Michigan weather events on this day in history. From the National Weather Service archives here are the Michigan weather events that happened on April 23.
The wood, miscellaneous freighter “rabbit” Belle P. Cross, while carrying cedar posts in 1903, went on a reef in a blinding blizzard-gale near Castle Danger, Minn. near the Gooseberry River in Lake Superior and broke up quickly. Wreckers arriving on the scene April 30, found her totally destroyed.
In 1960, heavy rain fell across most of Upper Michigan leading to serious flooding. Roads were washed out, bridges swept away and residents were forced to flee their homes on April 23 and April 24. Alberta had 1.28 inches of rain, Baraga had 1.44 inches, near Beechwood had 1.58 inches, Van Riper had 1.42 inches, Ishpeming had 1.30 inches, Ironwood had 3.05 inches of rain, Marquette had 1.77 inches, Watersmeet had 1.48 inches of rain.
A tornado struck Lower Michigan in 1968. It injured 11 people and did a half a million dollars in damage as it covered a path 10 miles long in Big Rapids in Mecosta County.
In 1980, after a record high temperature of 92 degrees the previous day, the low temperature dropped to 21 degrees at the Weather Forecast Office in Marquette. They also observed a snowfall of 2.1 inches.
In the Upper Peninsula flooding cancelled school in Gwinn in 1985. Also on this day the daytime temperature rose to 85 degrees in Flint. Curiously enough, the very next year, in 1986, the overnight temperature dropped to 22 degrees, setting the record low temperature for this day.
In 1985, a record high temperature of 75 degrees occurred at Weather Forecast Office in Marquette. This reading was tied in 1990.
In 1986, an unusual late snowfall blanketed the Poconos across northeastern Pennsylvania with up to 30 inches of snow, up to two feet was reported across the Catskills in New York and parts of northwestern New Jersey received up to 20 inches. Behind the storm freezing weather prevailed across Lower Michigan. Record cold temperatures for the date include the 19 degrees at Muskegon and 20 degrees at Grand Rapids. Other records include Detroit 23 degrees, Flint 22 degrees, and Sault Ste. Marie 20 degrees. For Grand Rapids and Detroit it is also a record for coldest so late in the season.
A surface low pressure center moved northeast from Iowa across the Western Great Lakes and into Ontario in 2001. A trailing cold front was the focus for the development of severe thunderstorms as it crossed Upper Michigan. Eight to 10 inch diameter trees came down in a severe thunderstorm 10 miles east of Watersmeet in the early afternoon. Four to eight inch diameter trees were downed 8 miles northeast of Amasa at 1:25 p.m. A tree fell on an automobile 5 miles north of Ishpeming and trees fell across power lines 3 miles north of Negaunee at 2:20 p.m. Numerous 6 inch diameter poplar trees broken off in Carlshend at 2:50 p.m. Across Lower Michigan numerous trees came down with the strong wind. Wind Reports include 61 mph in Flint and 60 mph in Ypsilanti. There were two reports of hail 1 inch in diameter (quarter sized), one from near Beechwood and the other from Baraga.