Nine foot snow drifts, cold air, and deadly shipwrecks 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 November 28.
1872 – The wood schooner W.O. Brown, while carrying wheat, was downbound from Duluth in a frigid gale when she was driven ashore and pounded to pieces near Mamainse Point in Lake Superior. Three survivors out of 9 struggled through a terrific cold wave and finally made it to the Soo on Christmas Day.
1905 – The steel, bulk freighter William Edenborn, had the steel barge Madiera in tow in a terrific gale. After she cut Madeira loose, she was pushed on a reef and split in half just west of Split Rock River mouth, 6-7 mi SW from Split Rock Lighthouse, MN in Lake Superior. Declared a total loss, she was eventually recovered and reassembled at great expense. 1 person lost their life in this wreck. In a separate incident further north, the wood scow-barge George Herbert was enroute with provisions for a shoreside lumber camp, in tow of the tug F.W. Gillett when the Herbert wrecked in a gale near Two Islands, Ontario on the North Shore of Lake Superior. The two had been sheltering at anchor for 10 hours when the Herbert broke her anchor cable and drove ashore. This storm is known as the “Big Blow of 1905” or “The MATAAFA Storm.” 3 of the 5 crew members perished. In another incident nearby, the steel, bulk freight “3-island steamer” Monkshaven, while carrying light, was driven ashore by a terrific gale and wrecked at Angus Island near Thunder Bay, Ontario in Lake Superior. Her thinly-clad crew survived on the ice covered island for 96 hours until found. The vessel was pulled off by wreckers in the spring of 1906, but was immediately snatched back to the rocks by a storm and totally wrecked.
1919 – The wood, fish tug Rollo stranded and wrecked, a total loss in a gale near Bois Blanc Island, Straits of Mackinac in Lake Huron.
1955 – Bitterly cold arctic air is firmly entrenched across Lower Michigan. The high temperature at Lansing is a record cold 15°, after a morning low of 6°. Meanwhile, a foot of lake effect snow piles up at Muskegon as they set a record low of 7°. Other record lows for the date include Detroit with 8° and Houghton Lake with 0°. In addition to Lansing Flint also sees a record for lowest high temperature with 19°.
1966 – Thousands of homes in an 8 county region of the central and eastern U.P. lost power as 60 mph wind gusts caused massive power failures during a gale and snowstorm November 27th-28th. 5 miles of ice-laden utility poles were brought down in Rudyard due to high wind with trees snapped and flung onto power lines in Marquette County with half the city of Marquette losing power. Baraga and Delta counties also had massive power outages. Over a foot of snow fell in Marquette with 8-9 foot drifts between Marquette and Negaunee with deeper drifts around Skandia. Over 200 vehicles stranded in the Green Garden-Skandia area along highway 41 because of the blizzard.
1976 – A record low of -8° occurred at the Weather Forecast Office in Marquette.
1991 – A winter storm moving through the Great Lakes brought snow, sleet and freezing rain across the Flint area, leaving 4.4″ of snow by the 28th.
2001 – 33.1 inches of heavy, wet snow fell at Weather Forecast Office in Marquette in 26 hours from the 26th to the 28th. Heavy snows occurred over western Upper Michigan as a low pressure system moved across the Great Lakes region. The snow began on the 26th and continued into the 28th. Scattered power and telephone outages were reported as tree branches weighted down by the wet snow snapped and fell across the lines. Strong northeast winds enhanced the snowfall, adding moisture from Lake Superior. The greatest amounts fell on the central highlands overnight on the 26th and during the morning of the 27th. Thirty inches of snow fell at the National Weather Service Office near Negaunee. Other snowfall totals from the storm included 9 inches in Iron Mountain and Ontonagon, 10 inches at Amasa, Bruce Crossing and northwest Dickinson County near Channing, 11 inches in Rockland, Calumet, Herman and Pelkie, 12 inches at Stambaugh, Phoenix, Paint Lake near Kenton and at Fortune Lake near Crystal Falls, 13 inches in both Gwinn and Watton. The National Weather Service Office set daily record snowfalls on the 26th with 9.2 inches of snow and again on the 27th with 19.2 inches of new snow. The record snowfall on the 27th was also the all-time daily record for the month of November. The 2.16 inches of water equivalent on the 27th also set a record.