An ice storm, mild weather, heavy snow and record pressure 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 March 5.
1894 – Mild weather for this day as records are broken for both the warm lows and balmy high temperatures. Records warm lows include Grand Rapids 50°, Lansing 50°, Detroit 49° and Sault Ste. Marie 39°. Record highs include Grand Rapids with 68°. This record was tied in 1983. Lansing sees a record 66° and hangs onto this record until 1983 when a high of 68° is observed. Sault Ste. Marie reaches 48°, but this record would be broken in 1910 with a high of 49°.
1900 – A two-day snowstorm ended which dropped a total of 16.1 inches of snow in Detroit. This is the third heaviest snow storm in Detroit since 1880! The storm was the last storm in a series of remarkable snowstorms which saw the 7th heaviest snowstorm on February 19, 1900 and then the 4th heaviest snowstorm on February 28-March 1, 1900. The March 1st and March 5th snowstorms helped to make it the snowiest March on record in Detroit, with 30.2″ of snowfall for the month. This is 23.2″ above average!
1948 – Arctic high pressure dominates the first half of the month of March with record lows this morning of -8° at Grand Rapids, -5° at Muskegon, 2° at Detroit, -10° at Flint, and -24° at Houghton Lake. There was an all-time high pressure observed at Detroit of 31.04 inches.
1912 – Subzero cold continues during one of the coldest months of March on record across Lower Michigan. Muskegon sets a record low of -2° on this morning, during a spell of five straight days below zero. This record was broken in 1948 when a reading of -5° is observed.
1976 – Thunderstorms move over cold air near the ground to produce one of the worst ice storms in history across Wisconsin and Lower Michigan. From 2 to 5 inches of ice builds up on trees and power lines, resulting in hundreds of thousands of people without power, some for as long as ten days.
2004 – A low pressure system lifted northeast from the plains into the central Great Lakes, bringing abundant moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. Storm total snowfall reached as high as 15 inches at the Marquette NWS. Other reports include 14 inches at Wetmore, 13 inches at Gladstone, 12 inches at Bark River and Hardwood, 11 inches at Norway and Newberry, and 10 inches at Gwinn and at Thousand Island Lake. WFO Marquette set a record daily water equivalent of 1.86 inches from this snowstorm. Across Eastern Upper Michigan, six to ten inch accumulations were common, with the highest amounts in western Mackinac County near Naubinway.