Isolated thunderstorms, soaring temperatures and record snowfall 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 8.
A snowy day across Lower Michigan with daily snowfall records set in 1931. The records include Grand Rapids with 4.5 inches, Lansing with 7.5 inches, Flint 5.7 inches, and Houghton Lake 7.5 inches.
In 1943, Grand Rapids plummets to minus 13 degrees, the coldest ever recorded in March. This caps a very cold period during the first ten days of the month, where four days had lows at or below zero at Grand Rapids. Other daily record lows include Detroit minus 1 degree, Flint minus 10 degrees, and Houghton Lake minus 24 degrees.
According to the National Weather Summary, thirty-two cities in the eastern U.S. reported new record high temperatures for the date in 1987. In Michigan, afternoon highs of 68 degrees at Houghton Lake and 72 degrees at Flint smash their previous records for the date by fourteen degrees.
In 2000, temperatures soar into the upper 70s across Lower Michigan, with some places hitting 80 degrees. The 78 degrees at Grand Rapids is a record high for the date and for so early in the season. Muskegon reached 73 degrees and Lansing hit 79 degrees which are both new records. Other records for the date include Alpena 80 degrees, Detroit 80 degrees, Houghton Lake 74 degrees, Flint 80 degrees, Marquette 71 degrees, and Sault Ste. Marie 59 degrees. For Muskegon this is the earliest reading of 70 degrees or more.
At the Weather Forecast Office in Marquette, 9.1 inches of daily record snowfall fell in on this day in 2002. This was part of a snowstorm spread out over several days. An intense storm system developed over the central plains and strengthened as it moved toward the Western Great Lakes, spreading a mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain and even isolated thunderstorms over the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Two inches of snow, sleet and ice fell on Iron Mountain. Ten to twelve inches of snow fell over the Ironwood area in 12 hours. Ontonagon and Bruce Crossing reported 12 to 14 inches of new snow. A combination of snow, sleet and ice covered the Escanaba area 2 to 3 inches deep. Freezing rain coated the Menominee area with one half inch of ice. Watton reported 8 inches of new snow in 12 hours and downtown Baraga reported 12 inches. Downtown Marquette had a combination of snow and sleet. Phoenix reported 12 inches of snowfall, and Houghton and Calumet received 14 inches of snow in 12 hours.