Palm Sunday tornado outbreak, heavy snow and record heat top the list of Michigan weather events on this day in history. From the National Weather Service and Storm Prediction Center (SPC) archives here are the Michigan weather events that happened on April 11.
In 1965, the second worst tornado outbreak in United States history struck from Iowa to Ohio, killing 256 people. In Michigan, the worst damage is near the Indiana state line as two violent tornadoes moved on parallel tracks about a half hour apart, killing 44 people and injuring hundreds. A tornado struck northwest of Grand Rapids, killing five people in Comstock Park. One person was killed by a tornado that moved from near Dewitt in Clinton County to Bennington in Shiawassee County. See the attached slideshow for an image of a “double tornado” taken during this event. Read more about the outbreak from these articles: NOAA Remembers the Midwest’s Deadly 1965 Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak, Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak and The Palm Sunday Story.
Chilly weather impacts the state in 1973. Record lows include Grand Rapids with 14 degrees, Muskegon 12 degrees, and Alpena 13 degrees.
Record warm lows and highs across the state on this date in 1977. The record warm lows include Grand Rapids with 56 degrees, Lansing 58 degrees, Detroit 56 degrees, and Flint 54 degrees. The record highs are Grand Rapids with 82 degrees, Lansing 82 degrees, Alpena 83 degrees, Detroit 87 degrees, and Marquette 83 degrees.
In 2001, severe thunderstorms produced large hail, flash flooding, and two weak tornadoes. The tornadoes briefly moved through rural areas near Coopersville in Ottawa County and Cloverville in Muskegon County. See the attached slideshow for weather images from these storms. Click here for a radar loop of the 2001 storms
Heavy rain caused flooding in the Upper Peninsula in 2002. Rain totaled 1.5 inches on the Montreal River watershed which led to some flooding with flooded basements in Ironwood and plugged ditches causing road flooding around Bessemer.
In 2007, it was a cold, windy and snowy day for the Lower Michigan. Record snowfall included of 4.6 inches for Grand Rapids, Muskegon 5.1 inches, Lansing 5.2 inches, Alpena 1.6 inches, and Houghton Lake 3.6 inches.
A winter storm developed over the Plains and tracked northeast into the Upper Great Lakes in 2008. The storm dropped widespread heavy snow across Upper Michigan from the evening of April 10, into the afternoon of April 12. Blizzard conditions also occurred over the Keweenaw Peninsula on the morning of April 11. Weather Forecast Office in Marquette had a daily snowfall record of 13.6 inches and record water equivalent of 2.22 inches. The observer ten miles south of Grand Marais measured eight inches in 12 hours. The observer at Bergland reported eight inches of snow in 12 hours. The observer 11 miles south of Kenton reported six to seven inches of snow along with wind gusts over 25 mph at times. The National Weather Service in Negaunee Township reported a storm total snowfall of 17.5 inches ending on the morning of April 12. Water equivalent precipitation from the storm measured 2.90 inches. Farther south on April 11, thunderstorms produce numerous reports of large hail across West Michigan during the afternoon hours. Some of the largest was in De Witt where the hail had a diameter of 1.75 inches and dented a family car but did not break the windshield. In Parma hail covered the ground and there were a few broken windshields with the one inch hail. See the attached slideshow for weather images from these storms.