State ferry service cancelled, township hall crumbled, and the greatest snowfall 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 January 31.
1899 – A low temperature of -18° occurred in Marquette.
1912 – The average temperature of 1.3° was reported in Marquette for the month of January which is the coldest month ever reported in Marquette’s history.
1914 – A snowstorm drops from 6 to 14 inches of snow across southern Lower Michigan. Grand Rapids receives a record setting 14.0” of and a record 1.39” of liquid precipitation.
1947 – A 74 mph wind gust was reported in Menominee during the blizzard of January, 30th and 31st which brought the area to a standstill. Ishpeming had 12 inches of snow which closed many secondary roads down in Marquette County due to heavy drifting in the blizzard of January 30th-31st, 1947. Gales over 50 mph at the Straits of Mackinac cancelled state ferry service.
1977 – One of the coldest months on record comes to a close with yet more arctic air and lake effect snow. High temperatures are only in the teens during the last week of the month with 2 to 4 feet of snow piled up along the Lake Michigan snow belts.
1979 – The Houghton County airport had 88.3 inches of snow which was 18.3 inches above normal for January. Many sheds and garages collapsed throughout the Keweenaw, Houghton and Ontonagon Counties during this month due to the weight of snow. In Greenland, a large part of the township hall crumbled under the weight of snow.
1982 – A snowstorm brought the 13th biggest snowstorm to the metro Detroit Area. The snow began late on the 30th and continued throughout much of the 31st. When it ended, nearly a foot, 11.8″ was officially measured at Detroit Metro Airport.
1989 – Severe arctic cold began to invade the north central U.S. The temperature at Great Falls, MT plunged 85 degrees in 36 hours. Valentine, NE plummeted from a record high of 70° to 0° in just 9 hours. Northwest winds gusted to 86 mph at Lander, WY, and wind chill readings of -80° were reported in parts of Montana. Many cities across the central U.S. reported record highs for the date as readings reached the 60s in parts of Michigan and the 80s in parts of Kansas. (National Weather Summary) (Storm Data) Michigan records for the day include Grand Rapids 57°, Muskegon 48°, Lansing 61°, Alpena 50°, Detroit 60°, and Flint with 59°.
1996 – A record low temperature of -27° occurred at Weather Forecast Office in Marquette. An Arctic air mass brought extreme cold to parts of Upper Michigan. Some low temperatures included -41° at Amasa, -40° at Iron River, -38° at Champion, -37° at Stephenson, -36° at Kenton and -33° at Iron Mountain and Ironwood.
1997 – Marquette measured 91.7” of snow for the month, the city’s greatest January snowfall on record. From late December 1996 to late January 1997, 122 inches of snow fell in the hills west of Marquette.
1999 – Grand Rapids ends the month accumulating a January snowfall record of 46.8” and Lansing sees a record 34.6” for the month.