Southwest Lower Michigan Weather History

The Weather History for the Month of April

Winter persists into April as temperatures fall to a record cold 8 degrees at Lansing and 9 degrees at Muskegon.
An April Fool's Day snowstorm drops 10 inches of snow on Lansing. Another 7 inches of snow falls the next day.
A tornado outbreak in southern Lower Michigan kills one person and injures about 50 others. One thunderstorm spawned two violent tornadoes in Kalamazoo and Eaton Counties. Several homes and businesses were destroyed on the southwest edge of Augusta by the first tornado. The second tornado destroyed 21 homes and 28 outbuildings as it moved from near Bellevue to Eaton Rapids. Other tornadoes hit near north of Bath in Clinton County and southeast of Dansville in Ingham County.
Eighteen people are killed and over 300 injured as four powerful tornadoes strike western Lower Michigan. Hudsonville and the northwest suburbs of Grand Rapids are the hardest hit areas with 17 fatalities as homes and businesses were completely swept away by an F5 tornado.
More information on April 3 1956…
The worst tornado outbreak in United States history strikes from Illinois to Alabama, with 148 tornadoes killing over 300 people. In Michigan, a tornado kills two people as it tracks across Hillsdale and Jackson Counties.
A devastating ice storm strikes central Lower Michigan. Heavy rain from thunderstorms falls into a layer of cold air near the ground and freezes on contact, creating sheaths of ice up to 3 inches thick that brings down thousands of tree limbs. It was estimated that 450,000 homes and businesses lost power during the storm and that nearly 50,000 people were without power for a week as persistent cold temperatures keep the heavy ice on the trees for 4 days after the storm. Crews came from four different states to help local utility companies restore power.
Arctic air pours into Lower Michigan in the wake of a snowstorm and lake effect snows pile up over a foot across western Lower Michigan. The 12 inches of snow at Muskegon makes this the snowiest April day on record there.
Severe thunderstorm winds in excess of 80 mph and hail up to golf ball size hit southern Kalamazoo County from Schoolcraft to Vicksburg. Siding on the western sides of many homes was shredded by the wind driven large hail.
A tornado outbreak strikes Lower Michigan, killing 10 people and injuring more than 50 others. Tornadoes struck Midland and Kalamazoo Counties, killing one person each. Four people were killed in a tornado that moved between Bedford and Charlotte. Three people were killed in Oakland County by a tornado that passed between Clyde and West Highland. A tornado that struck east of Dansville in Ingham County killed one person. A barn and home were destroyed by a tornado a mile west of Charlotte, but no one was killed.
A strong cold front moved through with a line of thunderstorms producing wind gusts to 70 mph and causing widespread damage across much of southern Lower Michigan.
A tornado destroyed two barns and damaged a house and apartment building near Fulton in Kalamazoo County.
Temperatures plunge to near zero as arctic high pressure persists over the Great Lakes states. Lansing falls to 2 below zero for a record low for the date and the latest sub-zero temperature on record. Muskegon falls to one degree above zero and Grand Rapids to 3 above for their coldest April temperatures on record.
A snowstorm drops several inches of snow across southern Lower Michigan. Lansing sets a record for the day with 5.1 inches and Grand Rapids with 4.3 inches.
Three to five inches of rain and warmer temperatures combine with melting snowpack and partially frozen ground to cause some disastrous flooding along the Grand and Kalamazoo Rivers. Millions of dollars of damage occur as large sections of Grand Rapids, including the Comstock Park area, are under several feet of water.
A brief tornado damaged a house near Loomis in Isabella County.
A snowstorm dumps 3 to 8 inches of snow across much of Lower Michigan. Record snowfall for the date includes the 6.5 inches at Muskegon, 5.2 inches at Lansing and 4.4 inches at Grand Rapids.
A tornado hit from near Plainwell in Allegan County to Doster in Barry County at 1:40 a.m. It did significant damage to a horse barn, lifted a trailer adjacent to the barn, damaged gravel yard equipment, lofted a tank, and uprooted numerous large trees.
A three day spell of 80 degree temperatures begins across Lower Michigan. Record highs include the 81 degrees at Lansing, where temperatures would hit records of 82 degrees on the 11th and 83 on the 12th.
The second worst tornado outbreak in United States history struck from Iowa to Ohio, killing 256 people. In Michigan, the worst damage is near the Indiana state line as two violent tornadoes moved on parallel tracks about a half hour apart, killing 44 people and injuring hundreds. A tornado struck northwest of Grand Rapids, killing five people in Comstock Park. One person was killed by a tornado that moved from near Dewitt in Clinton County to Bennington in Shiawassee County.
Severe thunderstorms produced large hail, flash flooding, and two weak tornadoes. The tornadoes briefly moved through rural areas near Coopersville in Ottawa County and Cloverville in Muskegon County.
A tornado put down an intermittent damage path about four miles long southeast of Ludington in Mason County. A barn was destroyed, but there were no injuries.
A brief tornado damaged a building in Vicksburg in Kalamazoo County.
Temperatures reach the 80s across Lower Michigan. Record highs set on this date include 87 degrees at Detroit, 82 at Lansing and 80 at Grand Rapids.
High temperatures struggle to reach the mid and upper 20s across Lower Michigan after morning lows in the teens. At Lansing the high temperature is only 24 degrees after a morning low of 17.
It is a cold morning across Lower Michigan. Record low temperatures include the 20 degrees at Muskegon and the 21 degrees at Grand Rapids.
Temperatures plunge into the teens as snowflakes swirl in the arctic winds. Record lows include 16 degrees at Muskegon and 18 degrees at Grand Rapids.
A four day stretch of record warm weather peaks across Lower Michigan with Grand Rapids hitting 86 degrees and Lansing 84.
From 6 to 12 inches of snow falls across southwest Lower Michigan. The storm drops 12.2 inches at Grand Rapids, the heaviest April snowfall on record there.
Extreme late season cold sets records across Lower Michigan. Detroit falls to 10 degrees on this date and 8 degrees on the 18th. Lansing bottoms out at an incredible zero degrees.
Heavy rain from a slow moving thunderstorm causes some street flooding in Grand Rapids. The daily total of 2.94 inches at Grand Rapids is a record for April.
A tornado struck Chester, in Eaton County where barns were destroyed and livestock was killed. A quarter-mile wide swath of trees was leveled in a forest by the tornado.
Less than a week after record low temperatures in the teens, high temperatures are pushing 80 degrees across Lower Michigan. Muskegon went from 19 degrees on the 15th to a high of 79 on this date, a rise of 60 degrees in four days.
A tornado killed livestock and damaged a barn and garage in Morley in Mecosta County. Another tornado hit Peach Ridge in Kent County, damaging a steel tower.
A tornado struck three miles west of Scottville in Mason County. It destroyed an unoccupied home and carried pieces of it over a mile.
A tornado outbreak hits from Missouri to Michigan, killing 58 people. The worst of the damage was in northern Illinois, where dozens of people were killed in Belvidere and Oak Lawn. At least seven tornadoes hit Michigan, injuring more than 50 people and destroying dozens of homes. A tornado moved across the southern outskirts of Grand Rapids, doing heavy damage. Thirty-two people were injured and a total of 65 buildings were destroyed and another 60 heavily damaged. Another tornado injured eight people and killed 34 sheep as it moved from Westphalia to the south edge of Fowler in Clinton County.
A tornado damaged several homes northeast of Burlington in Calhoun County.
A tornado struck Big Rapids in Mecosta County, injuring 11 people and doing half a million dollars in damage as it covered a path 10 miles long.
Freezing weather prevails across Lower Michigan. Record cold temperatures for the date include the 19 degrees at Muskegon and 20 degrees at Grand Rapids which is also a record for coldest so late in the season.
Only two days after setting record highs in the 80s, a record snowfall blankets Lower Michigan. Grand Rapids sets a record for the date with 2.4 inches of snow, after hitting 86 degrees on the 22nd.
Winter returns after summer-like weather the week before. After four days in the 80s from the 15th to the 18th, temperatures are held in the 30s today and heavy wet snow falls. Lansing sets a record for the date with 4 inches of snow, as does Grand Rapids with 3 inches.
A record three day spell of warm weather in the 80s peaks with a high of 88 degrees at Grand Rapids and Lansing
Severe thunderstorms brought hail up to two inches in diameter. A tornado with peak winds estimated at 85 mph hit near Burnips in Allegan County, damaging buildings at a turkey farm. In Portage, nine people were injured by a lightning strike.
A cold rain falls across Lower Michigan, holding temperatures in the 30s. The high of 37 at Grand Rapids and 38 at Lansing are both record cold high temperatures for the date.
A tornado destroyed a cottage and downed trees north of Newaygo.
A restaurant was destroyed and a hardware store was unroofed as a tornado moved along the northwest edge of Hart in Oceana County.
Grand Rapids sets the record high for the month of April at 90 degrees after a balmy morning low of 70 degrees.
Heavy rain mixed with snow sets records across Lower Michigan. The daily total liquid equivalent precipitation is 2.53 inches at Grand Rapids, and this includes a daily record of 2.2 inches of snow. The 1.75 inches at Lansing includes four inches of snow. Temperatures remain in the 30s all day.
Temperatures plunge below freezing with Grand Rapids dropping to a record cold 28 degrees. The freeze causes tremendous damage to the fruit crops as the record warm March had brought out blossoms several weeks earlier than normal.
Several tornadoes struck southern Lower Michigan. A fire station was damaged in Lansing and a building was destroyed in Grand Ledge. Another tornado struck south of Ypsilanti destroying a barn and damaging two houses. is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.