Blowing and drifting snow, flooding and a tornado 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 16.
A storm deposits heavy snow across part of Michigan in 1921. Houghton Lake received their greatest daily April snowfall win 13.0 inches.
In 1961, from 6 to 12 inches of snow fell across southwest Lower Michigan. The storm dropped a record 11.8 inches in Grand Rapids, 11 inches in Muskegon, 4.0 inches in Lansing and 2.5 inches in Flint. This is the heaviest April snowfall on record for Grand Rapids.
A week long heat wave baked the mid-Atlantic and northeast in 1976. Washington sweltered under temperatures as warm as the mid-90s from April 16 through April 21. Locations that reported record highs in Michigan included Grand Rapids with 84 degrees, Alpena 86 degrees, Benton Harbor 86 degrees, Detroit 85 degrees, Flint 82 degrees, Houghton Lake 80 degrees, Marquette 80 degrees, Ste. St. Marie 76 degrees, and Muskegon 81 degrees. Many of these records were be broken in 2002.
Cold air settled into the Upper Peninsula in 1980. A record low temperature of 7 degrees occurred at Weather Forecast Office in Marquette.
In 1992, a tornado hit Southeast Lower Michigan. Wayne County saw an F2 tornado at 4:03 p.m.
Snow of 6 to 10 inches fell over extreme western upper Michigan in 1994. Heaviest snow of 10 inches fell over Gogebic County. Northwest winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts of 40 to 50 mph caused considerable blowing and drifting of snow.
In 2001, low pressure moved south from Canada across the Great Lakes region. Unseasonably cold air wrapped into this system from the north, creating an area of heavy snowfall across eastern Upper Michigan. The snowfall began early in the morning and continued into the evening hours. By 8 p.m., 12 hour snowfall totals of 8 to 11 inches were common across eastern Chippewa County.
In 2002, high temperature records were shattered in 82 cities across the East and Midwest as spring turned into summer over much of the United States. This followed on the heels of 81 records that fell the day before across the Plains and Midwest. The abnormal heat was the result of a jet stream pushed way to the north for the time of year. In Michigan the records include Alpena 90 degrees, Pellston 88 degrees, Flint 87 degrees, Grand Rapids 86 degrees, Detroit 86 degrees, Lansing 86 degrees, Houghton Lake 85 degrees, Marquette 83 degrees, and Ste. St. Marie 83 degrees. For Alpena this is the warmest April day on record. This warm air mass invaded the U.P. causing a massive meltdown of snow and led to record flooding. The Montreal River flooded 250 to 300 feet from the riverbank into Ironwood and rose across U.S. 2, making it impossible to cross into Hurley, Wisc. The highway was also flooded in Wakefield, effectively creating an island for about a week. Wakefield was inundated with Sunday Lake flooding causing school to be evacuated and causing homes to be flooded.
In 2011, a low pressure system lifting from Wisconsin across eastern Lake Superior and then into Ontario brought periods of freezing rain and moderate snow to portions of Upper Michigan from April 16 into April 17. Observers from Newberry to Two Heart measured from 0.10 inch to 0.30 inch of freezing rain on the morning of April 16. The Luce County Sheriff reported a widespread glaze on elevated surfaces as ice accumulation caused minor damage to tree limbs. One broken tree limb fell on a power line and started a fire.