Freezing rain, blowing and drifting snow, and mild highs 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 March 23.
The daily records for both Lowest Maximum Daytime temperature and Overnight Low temperature were set at Detroit in 1888. Temperatures dipped to 18 degrees and 2 degrees respectively.
In 1907, this was warm day across the area. Grand Rapids set a new record high temperature with 74 degrees and Muskegon a record high of 73 degrees.
A snowstorm drops from 6 to 10 inches across southwest Lower Michigan in 1956. Jackson picks up 10 inches of snow, Grand Rapids sees a record 8.4 inches and Muskegon set a record with 6.3 inches.
In 1993, a low pressure system tracked east from central Illinois during this morning to eastern Ohio by the morning of March 24. This resulted in freezing rain during the morning hours. Ice accumulations ranged from 0.2 to 0.4 inches over Baraga, Marquette, Alger, Delta, Mackinac, and southern Schoolcraft Counties.
In 2009, a tight pressure gradient between low pressure over the Plains and high pressure over Hudson Bay caused strong southeast wind gusts over portions of the Keweenaw Peninsula from March 23 into March 24. Freezing rain also developed over portions of northwest Upper Michigan during this same time. The observer in Mohawk measured one-quarter inch of freezing rain. The combination of the ice and southeast winds gusting near 40 mph toppled numerous trees on US-41 and M-26 between the towns of Phoenix, Central and Copper Harbor. Most of the trees were between 6 and 18 inches in diameter.
Low pressure tracking eastward through the Lower Great Lakes brought significant heavy wet snow to south central Upper Michigan in 2011. With a strong high pressure system centered over Ontario providing very dry air across Lake Superior and northern Upper Michigan, there was a very sharp snowfall gradient between the heavy snow and no snow at all. The pressure difference across the area also resulted in gusty east winds. Storm total snowfall of 13 inches in about 12 hours was recorded in Wallace, Mich. Other snowfall reports included 10 inches in Menominee and 8 inches in Carney. Winds gusting over 40 mph especially along the lake shore resulted in significant blowing and drifting snow and the closure of some roads along the lake in Menominee. School and government buildings were also closed for the day. The snowfall gradient was very sharp with areas north of US 2 seeing very little snowfall. This snowstorm started on March 22 and continued into the morning hours as it hit the Flint, Saginaw and Thumb regions. 4 to 8 inches of heavy, wet snow fell. For areas along the I-69 corridor, a tenth or two of ice fell on top of the snow. The combination of snow and ice lead to over 10,000 customers without power.