Balmy weather, shipwrecks and blowing 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 Dec 12.
The wood bark, three mast De Soto, while carrying 480 tons of iron ore in 1869, was laid up at a dock at Marquette awaiting repairs from a gale on Nov. 19. She was damaged with that gale tore her loose from the dock and caused her to drag ashore just south of Cleveland dock in Marquette. She was pounded to pieces.
In 1875, the wood schooner Stranger, while carrying general merchandise, was dismasted off Grand Marais, Minn. by a westerly gale. She had no anchor and was unable to get a line sent from a boat. The storm eventually blew her out of sight into Lake Superior, where her crew presumably froze to death. Wreckage eventually came ashore on the Keweenaw Peninsula. She was out of Superior, Wis. All four crew members perished.
The wood, fishing tug Kakabeka was struck by a gale in 1895. She broke away from her winter moorings and drifted out into the lake. A change of wind then drove her back on shore near where she began. She was salvageable at first, but she broke up in heavy waves near Silver Islet, near Port Arthur, Ont. in Lake Superior on the Dec 16, while salvagers were enroute.
In 1949, balmy weather continues. For the second day in a row, temperatures set record highs at Lansing with 62 degrees. Detroit, Flint, and Saginaw simultaneously see a record of 61 degrees. This is 27 degrees above average. Other daily records include Houghton Lake 52 degrees, and Sault Ste. Marie 47 degrees.
Arctic air continues across Lower Michigan in 1958. Record cold temperatures include minus 5 degrees at both Grand Rapids and Muskegon, and minus 8 degrees in Flint.
In 1995, a low pressure system moved across Upper Michigan on the Dec. 9, and stalled near Sault Ste. Marie for nearly 24 hours. The low finally moved to the east on the morning of Dec. 10. What followed were intense northwest oriented lake effect snow bands that brought 59 inches of snow to Bumbletown, 53 inches to Munising, 43 inches to Ontonagon and 34 inches to Silver City, Houghton and Pine Stump Junction (10 miles north of Newberry). Blowing snow with northwest winds at 15 to 30 mph closed Highway M28 between Harvey and Munising for most of the period and made travel very difficult elsewhere.
A low pressure system that developed in the plains, moved northeast through the central Great Lakes in 2003. Rain and snow developed over Upper Michigan on the Dec. 9, and then changed to a heavy wet snow on Dec. 10. By the time the storm moved away on Dec. 12, the combination of system and lake effect snows deposited as much as 23 inches at Phoenix and 22 inches at Mohawk in Keweenaw County and 22 inches at the Marquette National Weather Service office. Nineteen inches fell at Watton in Baraga County, 17 inches at Ironwood, 15 inches at Bruce Crossing in Ontonagon County, 12 Inches at Wetmore in Alger County, and 11 inches at McMillan in Luce County and at Germfask in Schoolcraft County.
In 2010, low pressure tracked near the Michigan/Ohio border and then northeast into Ontario. Precipitation started as rain before changing to snow. Snowfall accumulations across southeast Michigan were generally in the three to seven inch range before Arctic air rushed into the region. The quick freeze created a thick accumulation of ice on many of the area roads. In addition, gusty winds of 25 to 40 mph occurred during Sunday afternoon lead to scattered power outages. Some of the higher snowfall reports included Bad Axe with 15 inches, Yale 9 inches, White Lake 7.7 inches, Clifford 7 inches, Midland 7 inches, Riverview 6.4 inches, Howell 6.3 inches and 12.3 inches at the Weather Forecast Office in Marquette.