An intense clipper low, the latest first snow, and record highs 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 Dec 29.
Arctic grips the Upper Peninsula in 1874. A low temperature of minus 23 degrees occurred in Negaunee, near the Lake Superior shoreline.
In 1880, Lower Michigan was in the deep freeze. Lansing falls to minus 15 degrees after a low of minus 17 degrees the day before. The high temperature of +1 degrees on this day is the coldest maximum temperature on record for the month of December at Lansing. In Detroit the daytime temperature rose to only minus 3 degrees. This is the second coldest maximum temperature for any day in Detroit.
Cold air 1976 pushed temperatures well below zero across Michigan. A record low temperature of minus 20 degrees occurred at Weather Forecast Office in Marquette. Other records which were broken in later years include minus 21 degrees at Sault Ste. Marie, minus 17 degrees at Houghton Lake, minus 6 degrees at Flint, and minus 3 degrees in Grand Rapids.
In 1984, West Michigan temperatures reach record highs for the second day in a row at Grand Rapids and Lansing. Amazingly, the record high of 65 degrees at Grand Rapids is set just after midnight. A cold front moves through in the morning and temperatures fall into the 30s during the afternoon. Other daily record highs for the date include Muskegon with 54 degrees, Lansing 62 degrees, Alpena 57 degrees, Flint 63 degrees, and Houghton Lake 55 degrees.
Heavy lake effect snow once again plagued the snowbelts of Michigan in 1993. Hardest hit areas in Upper Michigan were along the Keweenaw Peninsula, and in Alger, Luce and Chippewa Counties where snowfall amounts ranged from 7.0 to 11.0 inches. Compounding the heavy lake effect snowfall was strong westerly winds of 15 to 30 mph with gusts to near 50 mph. With arctic air in place across Michigan and strong winds wind chill factors ranged from 30 to 50 below zero during the entire event.
In Detroit 0.1” of snow fell at Detroit in 1998. While this light snowfall is not usually a significant event at the end of December, this was the first measurable snowfall for the 1998-1999 winter season, making this date the latest first measurable snowfall of any winter season. In the Upper Peninsula a low pressure center that tracked across southern Lower Michigan brought some accumulating snow to west and central upper Michigan. After the low passed, strong north winds brought a blast of arctic air across Lake Superior, generating lake effect snow showers and snow squalls. Storm totals reported include 10 inches at Ahmeek, Shingleton, Pine Stump Junction and at 5 miles east of Shingleton in northwest Schoolcraft county and 12 inches at Chassell.
An intense clipper low descending from southern Canada brought high winds, snow and blowing snow to areas along Lake Superior in 2008. Northwest winds gusted between 50 to 60 mph at the Great Lakes Observing Site at Grand Marais in the afternoon, while winds gusted over 40 mph at the Munising Automated Surface Observing System. Light snow and reduced visibility in blowing snow were also reported by several spotters. Wind gusts estimated between 50 and 60 mph downed a few trees near Two Heart in the afternoon. Snow and blowing snow also reduced visibility to one half mile or less at times over northern Luce County.