Five of the Most Memorable Snowstorms in Michigan
According to grandpashorters.com, based on statewide averages, Michigan ranks as the sixth snowiest in the Union.
On a list of snowiest U.S. cities with populations greater than 100,000, Michigan has the most with four cities in the top 25. Grand Rapids is highest at number four. Only the cities of Syracuse and Rochester, New York and Anchorage, Alaska beat out Grand Rapids.
The small Upper Peninsula town of Calumet is the snowiest place in Michigan with a yearly average of 187.4 inches and a record total of 390.4 inches set during the winter of 1978-79.
Michigan has seen its share of big snowstorms. Let's take a look at five of the most memorable snowstorms in recent history:
1. The White Hurricane of 1913. Called the White Hurricane, it's considered one of the worst snowstorms to hit the region in recorded history. This blizzard blew across Michigan's Upper and Lower Peninsulas and into Ohio, New York and Ontario, Canada, for four days. Snowfalls of almost two feet hit cities and towns across Michigan and other Great Lakes states. Snowdrifts alone reached more than four feet.
2. The Late May Snowstorm of 1923. We know what you're thinking, can it really snow in Michigan in May? The answer is yes. It happened on May 8, 1923. Temperatures across Michigan fell from 62 degrees to just 34 between noon and six p.m. A strong cold front approached and an inch of snow fell that night.
3. The Blizzard of 1967. If you remember, unseasonably warm temperatures in the 50's and 60's in some parts of Michigan just days prior to January 26 and 27. Then winter temperatures returned and so did several feet of snow. Kalamazoo took the brunt of the storm with 30 inches of snow falling. The storm brought the state to a standstill for two days.
4. The Great Blizzard of 1978. It still feels just like yesterday. The Blizzard of 1978 was the worst winter storm to hit Michigan since record keeping began. The lower peninsula was hit with 10 to 30 inches of snow depending on location. The severe blizzard caused whiteouts and zero visibility for hours. Much of lower Michigan closed down for days due to impassable roads. In some areas, there were snow drifts high enough to bury houses. I remember it well!
5. The North American Blizzard of 1999. Just after the New Year on January 2nd and 3rd of 1999, the Great Lakes region was struck with blizzard conditions. West Michigan was hit hardest with up to 28 inches of snow falling along Lake Michigan shoreline in South Haven. In many communities, schools and businesses were closed for days. (grandpashorters.com)