Southwest Lower Michigan Weather History

The Weather History for the Month of May

5/1/1966
A May Day snowstorm drops 4 inches of snow at Lansing.
5/2/1929
A snowstorm puts down a slushy coating of 2 to 3 inches of snow across southwest Lower Michigan.
5/2/1930
Grand Rapids was struck by a tornado that moved through the factory district on the south part of the city. Four people were injured as many buildings were unroofed. Damage totaled over a million dollars.
5/3/1954
Snow falls on three straight days from the 3rd to the 5th across Lower Michigan. Record snowfall on this date includes the 1.3 inches at Grand Rapids.
5/3/1959
Muskegon sets a record high of 82 degrees during a string of five straight days over 80 degrees.
5/4/1928
A tornado destroyed several cottages along Bostwick Lake, about ten miles northeast of Grand Rapids.
5/5/1895
An early season heat wave peaks with record highs of 96 degrees at Grand Rapids and 92 at Lansing. The 96 degrees at Grand Rapids is a record for so early in the season.
5/6/1902
A tornado injures two people and destroys several barns east of Maple Rapids in Clinton County. Another tornado destroys several barns near Tekonsha in Calhoun County.
5/7/1947
Cold and snow prevail across Lower Michigan with lows in the upper 20s and highs only in the upper 30s to lower 40s.
5/7/1974
Temperatures tumble as cold high pressure builds into Lower Michigan. Record lows on this date include 22 degrees at Lansing, 25 at Grand Rapids and 27 at Muskegon.
5/8/1880
A tornado destroyed two homes and a barn two miles east of Kalamazoo. No one was injured.
5/8/1976
A freeze hits Lower Michigan with Grand Rapids and Muskegon setting record lows of 27 degrees.
5/9/1923
A very late season winter storm dropped up to a foot of snow across Lower Michigan. Records were set for May snowfall at many places including Lansing with 11.5 inches, Grand Rapids with 5.5 inches, and Detroit with 6 inches.
5/9/1927
About 40 farm buildings are damaged or destroyed as a tornado moved from near Loomis in Isabella County, across southeast Clare County and into Gladwin County. Another tornado destroyed two barns and damaged two homes three miles west of Walker.
5/10/1902
A snowstorm drops from 1 to 6 inches of slushy snow across Lower Michigan. The four inches of snow at Muskegon is the latest measurable snow on record there
5/10/2006
A small weak tornado, determined to be a "landspout" moved through an open field near Schoolcraft in Kalamazoo County, doing no damage.
5/11/1956
A tornado hit the northeast edge of Kalamazoo, damaging 15 homes and destroying several barns.
5/12/1956
A severe weather outbreak produces tornadoes, high winds and large hail across Lower Michigan. A deadly tornado hit near Flint for the second time in three years, killing three people on the southeast side of the city. One person was killed in Gratiot County as a tornado moved between Alma and Ithaca. Muskegon was pelted with baseball-sized hail that caused thousands of dollars in damage to homes and cars.
5/12/2000
Severe weather with flash flooding, tornadoes and downburst winds hit Lower Michigan. A weak tornado moved through an open field near Gobles in Allegan County.
5/13/1930
Severe thunderstorms produced tornado and downburst damage across eastern Clinton County. Over 30 farms had wind damage and two dozen barns were destroyed. A tornado struck four miles south of St. Johns.
5/13/1980
Kalamazoo was hit by a tornado that killed five people and injured 79 others. Fifty million dollars damage was done as the tornado damaged or destroyed nearly 300 homes and over 150 businesses.
More information on May 13 1980…
5/14/1886
A tornado injured one person and damaged several homes north of Lansing. The injury occurred as a conductor was blown from a train.
5/14/2004
A tornado struck the southeast side of Maple Rapids, destroying a silo and damaging two others. A shed was also damaged. A couple of two by fours were driven into the side of a pole barn. Shingles were damaged and ripped off of two homes.
5/15/1855
A tornado destroys at least one building as it moves from Jackson to Washtenaw County.
5/15/1972
A tornado caused minor damage north of Potterville in Eaton County.
5/16/1997
Record low temperatures are set at Grand Rapids and Muskegon with both falling to 29 degrees. This will go in the record books as the coldest May on record at Grand Rapids.
5/17/1962
An early season heat wave sends temperatures into the upper 80s and lower 90s across Lower Michigan. Record highs on this date include the 91 at Grand Rapids, 89 at Lansing and 88 at Muskegon.
5/18/1915
Lansing records their latest measurable snow on record with 0.4 inches, and Grand Rapids does also, with 0.2 inches there.
5/19/1923
A tornado injured two people in Kent County as it moved through rural areas from east of Coopersville to near Sparta.
5/19/2002
Snowflakes fly across Lower Michigan as record cold weather prevails. Record lows include the 26 degrees at Lansing, 29 at Muskegon and 30 at Grand Rapids. The freezing temperatures cause heavy losses to orchards across western Lower Michigan.
5/20/1975
A tornado injured one person as it destroyed two mobile homes at Byron Center in Kent County.
5/20/1977
The last half of May is unusually warm. Record high temperatures in the upper 80s and lower 90s are set across Lower Michigan from the 16th to the 28th. This helps make it the warmest May on record at Grand Rapids.
5/21/2001
A swarm of at least 20 tornadoes descend on Lower Michigan. Fortunately, most of the tornadoes are relatively weak and only five people were injured. Damage included dozens of trees downed, barns blown over and roof and siding damage to several homes. Three homes and a golf course were heavily damaged north of Hartland in Livingston County.
5/21/2004
Severe weather causes widespread damage across southern Lower Michigan. Thunderstorm winds up to 70 mph, large hail and flash flooding occurred as a squall line moved from Benton Harbor to Ann Arbor. Hundreds of trees are knocked down and thousands lose power.
5/22/1917
Cold rain mixes with snow and temperatures rise only to the lower 40s after morning lows in the lower 30s.
5/22/1963
Snowflakes fall at Lansing as morning low temperatures in the 30s only rise to the mid and upper 40s.
5/23/1966
A barn was destroyed by a tornado near Gobles in Van Buren County.
5/23/1973
A tornado destroyed three barns and damaged an industrial building in Winn in Isabella County.
5/24/1890
One person was injured as a tornado destroyed one home and a dozen barns northeast of Ithaca in Gratiot County.
5/25/1925
Lansing records its latest snow on record as snowflakes fall there with a low temperature of 32 and a high of 47 degrees.
5/25/1992
Widespread freezing temperatures do heavy damage to the fruit crop across southwest Lower Michigan. Record lows for today include the 29 degrees at Lansing, 31 at Grand Rapids and 32 at Muskegon.
5/25/2006
Two weak tornadoes caused no damage as they briefly spun up between Beebe and Breckenridge in Gratiot County.
5/26/1961
Snow flurries are observed across Lower Michigan as record cold air moves in. Temperatures fall well below freezing the next morning, wiping out much of the fruit crop.
5/27/1907
Wet snowflakes fall at Grand Rapids and Muskegon. It is the latest snow on record at Grand Rapids.
5/27/1912
A tornado destroys barns and kills livestock near East Leroy in Calhoun County.
5/27/1960
Several farm buildings were damaged or destroyed by a tornado four miles east of Ionia.
5/27/1973
A tornado destroyed a barn and silo near Saranac in Ionia County. Another tornado did minor damage near Gun Lake in Barry County.
5/28/1955
A series of tornadoes put down an intermittent damage path more than 60 miles long from near Schoolcraft in Kalamazoo County to east of Grand Ledge in Eaton County. One person was injured northwest of Charlotte as a barn was destroyed. Two homes were unroofed and total damage was estimated at 150,000 dollars.
5/28/1991
A tornado damaged homes and destroyed outbuildings near Hart in Oceana County.
5/29/1895
The second heat wave of the month gets underway with record highs of 94 degrees at Grand Rapids and Lansing.
5/29/1947
Muskegon records its latest snow on record as some wet snowflakes mix in with a cold rain. The high temperature for the day is only 47 degrees after a low of 35.
5/29/2011
A squall line moved through southern Lower Michigan during the afternoon bringing damaging winds from Vicksburg to Battle Creek and Charlotte. Trees were snapped in a 100 yard wide path, and both a residence and a barn had their roofs partially blown off. Kimball Pines County Park near Battle Creek lost hundreds of trees to winds estimated to be 85 to 100 mph. A state of emergency was declared for Calhoun County and nearly 40,000 people lost power due to the wind damage and lightning.
5/30/1972
A tornado damaged a building under construction five miles west of Jackson.
5/30/1989
A tornado struck Van Buren County, moving from east of South Haven to south of Pearl. Several grain elevators were destroyed and windows were blown out of buildings.
5/31/1943
A tornado outbreak hit southern Lower Michigan. Ten people were injured as homes were swept away by a powerful tornado that moved southeast of Morrice in Shiawassee County. A tornado killed livestock and destroyed a barn near Morley in Mecosta County. A home near Coopersville in Ottawa County was unroofed by a tornado and three people were injured. Another tornado struck near Bath in Clinton County destroying one barn.
5/31/1954
A tornado struck north of Bangor in Van Buren County. Forty barns were damaged or destroyed and one home was unroofed. Damage totaled about half a million dollars.
5/31/1998
A squall line of severe thunderstorms moves across Lower Michigan in the early morning with wind gusts between 90 and 120 mph. Thousands of trees are knocked down and hundreds of homes and businesses suffer damage. Sections of the state are declared a major disaster area and thousands are without power, some for several days.

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