Struck by a milk truck, earliest tornado and record rain 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 Feb. 28.
Cold air tumbles temperatures in 1884. A low temperature of minus 34 degrees occurred in Ishpeming.
In 1900, record daily snowfall for West Michigan with Grand Rapids observing 9.0 inches, Detroit 12.4 inches and Lansing 13 inches. For Lansing this is the greatest daily snowfall for February.
Record warm overnight low temperatures in 1902, with a reading of 36 degrees in Muskegon, Grand Rapids with 39 degrees and Sault Ste. Marie 38 degrees. For Sault Ste. Marie this is the warmest minimum temperature ever recorded for the month of February. It was also a wet day with Grand Rapids recording a record 1.30 inches of precipitation.
In 1974, a tornado hit Wayne County at 5:25 p.m. Although the strength of the tornado was not recorded, this is still an impressive event to have happened in Michigan during the winter and is the earliest date of a recorded tornado in Southeast Michigan.
A low pressure system moved east across Southern Wisconsin and Southern Lower Michigan on Feb. 27, 1996. As the low exited Lower Michigan, a trough developed over Northern Wisconsin turning the winds over Upper Michigan to the north. The snow became heavy during the evening of Feb. 27, and continued until the trough moved south into Illinois during the evening of Feb. 28. The heaviest snows were enhanced by cold air blowing over the relatively warmer waters of Lake Superior. The heaviest snow totals were Ironwood, Marquette and Herman with 12 inches, while Houghton, Ontonagon and L’anse received 8 inches. One weather related fatality occurred when a man was struck by a milk truck at 2:05 p.m. on Feb 28, on Highway M28, 10 miles east of Harvey in Marquette County. He was standing outside his car which had been in a minor accident 10 minutes earlier. Blowing snow produced whiteout conditions at the scene. Record daily snowfall of 8.3 inches fell at the Weather Forecast Office in Marquette.
In 1998, mild air invades for this day in February. Record warm temperatures include Flint with 56 degrees, Houghton Lake with 52 degrees, and Sault Ste. Marie with 46 degrees. In West Michigan Muskegon saw a record the high of 53 degrees and 54 degrees at Grand Rapids, helping to make this one of the warmest Februarys on record at those sites.
In 2002, this was the snowiest month ever at Weather Forecast Office in Marquette. The month concluded with 91.9 inches snowfall for month of February.
A strong low pressure system developed over the central Great Plains in 2012. Blizzard conditions occurred across South Dakota and tornadoes were reported from Nebraska to Illinois. By the early evening hours of Feb. 28, the system began to impact Upper Michigan. Heavy snow fell at times across much of Upper Michigan, with the largest totals occurring around the Michigan and Wisconsin border. This was the start of the major snowstorm.