Why Jan. 21 is most intriguing (and controversial) day for Detroit weather records
DETROIT – Strictly from a historical standpoint, Jan. 21 is a most intriguing day for Detroit weather records. You see, on Jan. 21 in 1984, we set a record low of -21 degrees (-29 degrees Celsius), which officially stands as the coldest recorded temperature in Detroit weather history. Our National Weather Service office has the old books that the daily weather statistics were hand-recorded in, and Detroit weather records date back to 1870. But once that book was lost, all records set from 1870 to 1873 were disqualified. I maintain an Excel spreadsheet with all of Detroit’s weather records, including some oddball records not typically kept.
Today in Michigan weather history: Midwest tornado outbreak of Nov. 17, 2013
On Nov. 17, 2013, more than 70 tornadoes moved across part of the Midwest, impacting seven states including Michigan. Illinois and Indiana were hardest hit by what the National Weather Service (NWS) called a “major late-season severe weather outbreak." Here’s a look at where the tornadoes were recorded:Tornado Outbreak Nov. 17, 2013 (National Weather Service)Tornado Outbreak Nov. 17, 2013 (National Weather Service)Radar indicated circulation tracks shown from the Nov. 17, 2013 tornado outbreak in the Midwest. WASHINGTON, IL - NOVEMBER 17: The damage is surveyed along Elgin Avenue after a tornado struck on November 17, 2013 in Washington, Illinois. Tornado Outbreak Nov. 17, 2013 (National Weather Service)More: Weather History
Major flooding in Mid-Michigan: How much rain fell, how historic was it?
But how much rain fell, and how historic was it? That amount of rain falling at Midland in a forty-eight hour period is statistically expected to occur only about once every twenty-five years, so the fact that this rain fell in thirty-six hours means that it was a 25-to-50 year event. Adding insult to injury is that this rain came after another inch to inch-and-a-half of rain fell last Thursday into Friday. I've told you many times in the past that global warming does not CAUSE individual weather events. In this case, extreme precipitation events are definitely occurring more often, and there is a very simple reason why: as Earth warms, more ocean water is evaporating into the atmosphere.