A tornado, record warmth, whiteout conditions 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 February 28.
1884 – A low temperature of -34° occurred in Ishpeming.
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.
1902 – Record warm overnight low temperatures with a reading of 36° in Muskegon, Grand Rapids with 39°and Sault Ste. Marie 38°. 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” of precipitation.
1974 – A tornado hit Wayne County at 5:25PM. 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.
1996 – A low pressure system moved east across Southern Wisconsin and Southern Lower Michigan on the 27th. 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 the 27th and continued until the trough moved south into Illinois during the evening of this day. 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 205 pm 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.
1998 – Mild air invades for the day in February. Record warm temperatures include Flint with 56°, Houghton Lake with 52°, and Sault Ste. Marie with 46°. In West Michigan Muskegon sees a record the high of 53° and 54° at Grand Rapids, helping to make this one of the warmest Februarys on record at those sites.
2002 – The snowiest month ever at Weather Forecast Office in Marquette concluded with 91.9 inches of monthly snowfall.
2012 – A strong low pressure system developed over the central Great Plains. Blizzard conditions occurred across South Dakota and tornadoes were reported from Nebraska to Illinois. By the early evening hours of the 28th, 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.