Large hail, tornadoes, record rain and a shipwreck top the list of Michigan weather events on this day in history. From the National Weather Service archives here events that happened on June 17.
1883 – The wood schooner, 3-mast Escanaba, while carrying 850 tons of iron ore, was bound Escanaba, Michigan for Cleveland with ore when she struck Gull Island Reef in the Beaver Islands in Lake Michigan in heavy weather with a gale and reportedly broke up quickly. No effort was made to recover the vessel, and the next Bradley schooner bound for the iron country, the 3-master Negaunee, was ordered to salvage her outfit.
1935 – The record for the greatest amount of precipitation for the month of June in Saginaw was reached, with a rainfall estimate of 2.98”.
1975 – A tornado struck two miles northeast of Newaygo. A tree fell on and killed a 14 year old girl who was camping with her parents. Tornadoes also hit Roscommon County, where damage was done to some boats on the southwest shore of Houghton Lake. Another tornado damaged several farm buildings north of Zeeland in Ottawa County.
1992 – Over a dozen, mostly weak tornadoes struck across Lower Michigan as a squall line ripped across the region. Tornadoes hit south of Coopersville in Ottawa County, near Cedar Springs in Kent County, Harrison in Clare County and Pewamo in Ionia County. All of the tornadoes were rated F0 and F1. Temperatures ahead of the squall line soared into the 90s which was one of only two such days during the cold summer of 1992.
1995 – A record high temperature of 92° set at National Weather Service office in Marquette.
2006 – Two-inch diameter hail (hen egg sized) fell at a cabin on Huron Bay 2 miles north of Skanee, MI in the early afternoon with several large trees down at a cabin near Huron Bay. In the early afternoon, a 50-foot tall 10-inch diameter tree broke in half and a 7-inch diameter poplar tree broke in L’anse causing $1000 in property damage. 40 to 50 large trees were snapped off or uprooted between Pine Creek Road and just south of Highway M-38 near the Sturgeon River in the early afternoon 3 miles south of Pelkie with gusts up to 69 mph that did $40,000 in property damage. Numerous trees and power lines were reported down along a two-mile swath near Prickett Dam Road and along Silver Mountain Road at 1305 EST. Many trees blown down or uprooted along Eagles Nest and Buck Roe Roads and several trees ranging between 8 and 10 inches in diameter were snapped off half way up the tree 9 miles northwest of Marquette at 1415 EST and one tree was uprooted near County Highway 550. Measured wind gust of 62 mph and a 6-inch diameter birch tree was snapped off at Freda at 1550 EST. 40 to 50 large trees were snapped off or uprooted along Gratiot Lake Road within a mile of the northwest shoreline of Gratiot Lake at 1630 EST in Keweenaw County causing $40,000 in damage. A cold frontal passage triggered severe thunderstorms over portions of the west half of Upper Michigan in the afternoon. The severe storms either uprooted or snapped off numerous large trees or dropped large hail at selected locations in Gogebic, Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Marquette Counties. In Gobebic County, a 50-year old man was struck and killed by lightning while standing under a tree near Sunday Lake in Wakefield in the early afternoon. Wind gusts to 63 mph caused major damage of $400,000 to docks and boats 1 mile south of Bayfield, Wisconsin.
2007 – Severe thunderstorms dropped large hail over portions of Baraga and Keweenaw counties in the evening. A severe thunderstorm produced quarter sized hail (1 inch) in Phoenix. Penny-sized hail was also reported five miles west of Phoenix
2009 – Three to six inches of rain fell in and around the I-69 corridor during the daytime hours including a daily record of 3.46” at Flint. That made it the 2nd wettest June day and 10th wettest day all-time for Flint. This amount of rain, coupled with the wet spring, lead to flooding across a few counties. Road closures and basement flooding were common.