Wrecked freighters, a late season warm spell and heavy snow 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 23.
1868 – The wooden schooner William M. Arbuckle was put ashore in a gale to prevent her sinking and abandoned as a total loss after the tug American Eagle was unable to pump her out near Sister Bay, WI in the bay of Green Bay.
1869 – The wood schooner W.C. Craig, while carrying 468 tons of iron ore, was driven ashore in a gale on Peninsula Point in the bay of Green Bay while bound Escanaba for Cleveland. Her crew tried to get her off by the jettison of her cargo. But she broke up soon after.
1880 – The overnight temperature dropped to 8° in Detroit, setting the record low temperature for the day. This also marked the sixth day in a row (November 18-23) of record low temperatures, including a record low of 0° set on November 22, 1880, which is also the record low temperature for the entire month of November in Detroit!
1905 – The steel, bulk freighter Coralia, while carrying iron ore, went ashore with heavy damage in a gale and reported a total loss at Point Isabelle on the Keweenaw Peninsula.
1926 – The wood, bulk freight Herman H. Hettler, while carrying table salt, was heading for the shelter of Grand Island in a gale when she hit a reef at Trout Point on the east side of Grand Island, near Munising, MI on Lake Superior and was wrecked. She broke up under the pounding of waves soon after. The wreck was later dynamited to level her.
1931 – A record late warm spell peaks on this date with a high of 70° at Grand Rapids and setting records for the warmest temperature so late in the season. It is the warmest November on record at Grand Rapids and Muskegon. Other daily records from around the state include Alpena 65°, Detroit 69°, Flint 68°, Houghton Lake 64°, and Sault Ste. Marie 59°. Lansing also set a record with 67°, which was tied in 1999.
1999 – Low pressure moving northeast over western Lake Superior brought heavy snow to extreme western Upper Michigan. North winds 10 to 20 mph from Lake Superior enhanced the accumulations. Ironwood received 16 inches of heavy wet snow. Only 30 miles east, Bergland totaled 7 inches in the same period. Farther north, along Lake Superior, most of the precipitation fell as rain (1.37 inches at Ontonagon). Only 2 to 4 inches of snow was reported to the southeast around Watersmeet. The wet snow covered the roads with slush, resulting in numerous minor traffic accidents. One serious accident ended in a fatality and two injuries when a driver lost control on the slippery road and hit an oncoming car. Power and telephone outages were reported as the heavy wet snow brought down electric and telephone lines.