Has a Hurricane Ever Made It To Michigan?
Seems like a silly question to ask: Has a hurricane ever made it to Michigan? Anyone living in Mid-Michigan would immediately offer a correction: "you mean tornado outbreak?" Of course, that would be a yes. But, that's not the legit question at hand. Given Hurricane Ian's projected landfall in Florida this week. It seems like a curious question to ask.
Remnants of hurricanes become tropical storms (again) and anything that makes it to Michigan would be considered "extratropical" (meaning it loses it's tropical qualities), according to the National Weather Service. Those remnants absolutely have made it to Michigan & the Midwest before. Most recently, remnants of "Isabel" in September of 2003. Winds were 30+ miles per hour with approximately .25" rainfall. Keep in mind all of Flint & Genesee County weather information is gathered in the National Weather Service's Detroit/Pontiac office.
"Isabel" was preceded by remnants of Hurricane Fran in 1996, "Opal" in October 1995 dropping nearly 1.5" of rain with winds at 38mph! Only one system was still a Tropical Storm by the time it made it to South East Michigan. Hurricane Candy in 1968 made its way from the Gulf around Mexico and Texas up through the Midwest. According to the National Weather Service or NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association) the storm dumped 2.55" of rain as it hovered over Lambertville and over Detroit. The wind wasn't as strong as "Isabel" in 2003, but rain totals were much more impressive.
So, technically, yes hurricanes do make it to Michigan sometimes. Enjoy these quick, nerdy weather facts:
- NWS has tracking data for Hurricane & Tropical Storm Activity in the Midwest dating back to 1921
- Hurricanes were not named before the early 1950s
- According to NOAA, The United States started naming hurricanes with female names. Then, in 1978, male and female names were used to name storms in the North Pacific.
- Fast forward on year later in 1979 and male & female names were used for Atlantic storm systems, too.
- While Michigan doesn't get full-bore hurricanes like coastal areas, but that didn't stop some Michiganders from naming a giant blizzard "The White Hurricane of 1913" or "Snow Hurricane." (Almost sounds like something made for the "White Walkers" on Game of Thrones.) It's believed to have had hurricane force winds around 90mph and 35 foot waves on the big lakes. (According to Grandpa Shorter's from Petoskey, Mi)
See more from all around Michigan in these galleries: