Near blizzard conditions, strong wind and record heat 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 23.
In 1941, Lower Michigan is in the midst of a three day spell of mild weather with highs in the 50s from Dec. 22 to Dec. 24. The high temperature at Muskegon on this date is a record 54°.
In 1968, this was the worst storm since the blizzard of 1938. For the western Upper Peninsula from Dec. 21 to Dec. 23, Sault Ste. Marie and Marquette received a foot of snow. Houghton and Hancock had 21 inches, and 35 inches of snow fell In Ironwood from Dec. 21 to Dec. 23 with winds up to 45 mph.
Temperatures fall to record lows of -5° at Muskegon and -11° at Grand Rapids on this day in 1989. This was during the coldest December on record at both sites. Alpena observed a daily record low of -17° and a record -12° was recorded at Flint.
In 1993, arctic air entrenched over the Great Lake region continued to set off heavy lake effect snow across the snowbelts of Michigan. In upper Michigan the heaviest snowfall fell across the far west and from Alger County to Luce and Chippewa counties. Up to 21.0 inches of snow fell in a 24 hour period in Ontonagon County with around one foot falling in Alger, Luce and Chippewa counties. Snowfall in Marquette, Baraga and Gogebic counties of upper Michigan reported much less snowfall with around four to six inches.
The Weather Forecast Office in Marquette recorded a daily snowfall record of 11.5 inches in 1996. Low pressure crossing Lower Michigan spread locally heavy snow to the north of its track across eastern upper Michigan. A southwest flow in advance of the low provided some lake enhancement across Mackinac County as winds were onshore for a time. Total snowfall across Mackinac County ranged from 8 to 14 inches. The snow started at noon on this day and ended in the morning on Dec. 24.
A strong storm system lifted northeast out of eastern Texas and moved through the Ohio Valley in 2004. Snow tapered off by early afternoon with most locations receiving between 6 to 10 inches. Strong northerly winds to 30 mph, and up to 45 mph near Lake Huron, also caused blizzard conditions with significant blowing and drifting of snow. Here are some of the higher snowfall totals: Burton 7.5 inches (Genesee), Caseville 8.0 inches (Huron), Dryden 7.5 inches (Lapeer), Deerfield 9.0 inches (Lenawee), New Baltimore 9.0 inches (Macomb), Dundee 8.0 inches (Monroe), Bloomfield Hills 9.3 inches (Oakland), Saline 8.2 inches (Washtenaw), Romulus 8.8 inches (Wayne), and Port Huron 10.0 inches (St Clair).
In 2006, a storm system developing over the central Plains tracked into eastern Lake Superior early on Dec. 23. This system dumped heavy snow over portions of western Upper Michigan from the evening of Dec. 22 continuing into the morning of Dec. 23. The Bessemer/Wakefield areas observed 12 inches of snowfall in 12 hours. Twin Lakes observed 11 inches of snow in 12 hours.
A strong low pressure system tracking through Upper Michigan brought strong wind and near-blizzard conditions to portions of Delta County in 2007. Strong winds in excess of 40 mph at times downed power lines and knocked out electricity to 96 customers in Escanaba. Near-blizzard conditions in snow and blowing snow also contributed to several accidents in Delta County. A spotter north of Ironwood reported a storm total snowfall of 15 inches while a spotter seven miles northeast of Marenisco measured 12 inches in 12 hours. Several traffic accidents were attributed to snow-packed highways from the storm in Gogebic County. In West Michigan this storm produced strong wind between roughly 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. on Dec. 23. Numerous trees and power lines were toppled by the wind and the National Weather Service reports the following wind gusts: 78 mph in Muskegon, 71 mph in Greenville, 70 mph near Lawton, 67 mph in Kalamazoo, and 64 mph in Grand Rapids. The attached slideshow has a few severe weather maps for the day. Click this link to see a radar loop of the storms.