Inches of hail, a tornado, and flooding top the list of Michigan weather events on this day in history. From the National Weather Service and Storm Prediction Center (SPC) archives here are the weather events that happened on March 31.
1923 – March goes out like a cold lion with record lows in the single numbers and lake effect snow showers. Grand Rapids and Muskegon both see a low of 6°. Lansing sets a record low with 4°. Other records for the state include Alpena -10°, Detroit 6°, Flint 0°, Houghton Lake -10°, and Sault Ste. Marie -6°. Most of these cities go on to set records for the coldest high temperatures for the date. Grand Rapids only warms to 20°, Muskegon 21°, Lansing 21°, Alpena 14°, Detroit 21°, Houghton Lake 22°, and Sault Ste. Marie 10°. See the attached slideshow for a weather map for this cold day.
1963 – Ontonagon had a high temperature of 71° which caused heavy runoff from melting snow. This met with a solid icepack on Lake Superior and river ice began to break apart. This began the flooding that followed the next day.
1985 – Weather Forecast Office in Marquette had a daily record snowfall of 18.5 inches. A severe thunderstorm produced a wind gust to 73 mph 1 mile southwest of Sault Ste. Marie in the midafternoon.
2006 – At 7 PM a tornado hits a few miles east of Jackson, taking down hundreds of trees and causing minor structural damage in the town of Leoni. In West Michigan, hail 1” in diameter falls east of Battle Creek. Severe weather broke out across much of Southeast Michigan. There were over 30 severe hail and severe wind/damage reports. Some of the one 1” diameter hail in southern Genesee County piled up to several inches. See the slideshow on the top for more weather images from the storm.
2010 – The warmest, driest and least snowy March for climate records ever occurred at National Weather Service office in Negaunee. 0.28 inch of precipitation fell, 0.3 inch of snow and an average temperature of 34.7 degrees was 10.1 degrees above normal. March ended this day with a record high temperature of 70° at Weather Forecast Office in
Marquette, the second time ever recorded of 70° or more in March. The other time of 70° or greater was March 8, 2000 with 71°. Record highs for the date across Lower Michigan include Grand Rapids 78° (tied with 1986), Alpena 75°, and Houghton Lake 74°. See the attached slideshow for a weather map for this cold day. Click this link for a radar loop of the storms on this day.