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About Sand Point Weather

The Community

Michigan's lower-peninsula is shaped like a left-handed mitten. Sand Point is the name given to a peninsula that juts out into Saginaw Bay from the West side of this mitten's thumb. It is, essentially, a peninsula on a larger peninsula, the Huron peninsula that makes up the thumb, on a larger peninsula, that being the entire lower peninsula of Michigan. Sand Point is located in Caseville Township about 5 miles south and west of the City of Caseville. Sand Point is a largely residential community featuring beautiful, sandy beaches and spectacular water views including views of Charity and North Islands. Sand Point itself is the dividing line between Wildfowl Bay to the South and Saginaw Bay to the North. Tawas City is located across Saginaw Bay with Charity Island located near the mid-point.

Many Sand Point residents describe their homes as being North Shore (having views of Charity Island, and Saginaw Bay), South Shore (with views of North Island, Bay Port, and Wildfowl Bay), or Canal (with homes located along one of several navigable canals). Sand Point is a community with many homes considered to be second homes that are occupied as vacation, weekend, or summer residences. Other homes are occupied year-round. Children residing on Sand Point attend Lakers or Caseville Schools.

The south shore was the first part of Sand Point to be developed. At this time there were no roads on Sand Point and access was made via boat, usually from Bay Port. Small fishing cabins dotted the south shore. Later, Crescent Beach Road was added which allowed access to other parts of Sand Point. The canals were dug later. There are actually three, unconnected canal systems. The Beadle Bay Canal System is the largest followed by the Sandy Isles Canals and then the Lost Channel Canal.

The Caseville community is found in Michigan's Huron County and is located approximately 125 miles north of the Detroit Metropolitan Area, 150 miles north and slightly east of Lansing, and 48 miles north east of Bay City. The area is easily accessible as Michigan's Highway M25 follows the lakeshore around Michigan's thumb and goes straight through Caseville.

Michigan's Huron County includes the entire tip of the thumb from Saginaw Bay to Lake Huron. Huron County is an agricultural community. Corn, beans, sugar beets, and wheat are grown. Wind is also “farmed” in Huron County. As of January 2015, 328 electricity-generating wind turbines dotted the Huron County landscape. Wind “Farms” of varying sizes run and maintain the windmills.

In the early days, before the 1830's, Huron County remained a wilderness with fur trade as the primary interest. From 1832 to 1881 the lumber trade became the primary focus. Trees were felled and floated down rivers to the lakes where sawmills were located. After 1881, as the trees were mostly gone and the land cleared, farming became the primary occupation and remains so today. Salt mining and commercial fishing also played a role in the county's development. Currently, the tourist trade and wind based electrical generation are also important to the area's economy.

Some interesting historical facts about Huron County:

  • Indian tribes found in early Huron County included the Ottawa, Huron, Potawotami, and Chippewa. Other tribes were also, on occasion, in the area.
  • Large forest fires raged across Huron County in October 1871, and September 1881. These fires destroyed homes, crops, and forests.
  • The first census taken in Huron County was completed in 1850. A population of 210 residents was enumerated. Occupations listed by the 52 heads of families included farmers, carpenters, hunters, coopers, lumbermen, fishermen, and general laborers. The latest census from 2010 shows a Huron County population of 33,118.
  • In November of 1913 a huge storm battered the shores of Huron County. Winds were reported to have exceeded 85 miles per hour. Eight large freighters and 188 lives were lost.
  • 1949 marks the last time the entire great lake system of lakes was frozen over completely.

Written for by Janet Exel of Caseville Michigan

The Weather Station

The weather station is situated 140 miles north of Detroit on Sand Point, which is located along M-25 on the northwestern coast of the Michigan Thumb, approximately 3 miles south of Caseville Michigan (home of the “Cheeseburger In Caseville” festival). Extending west, 4 miles out into Saginaw Bay, Sand Point forms Wild Fowl Bay.

SPWInstalled in May of 2003, the weather station was purchased originally, as a Davis Wireless Vantage Pro. It is situated on the south shore of Sand Point, not far from the water tower. In June of 2006, the Davis Ultra Violet (UV) and Solar Radiation Sensors were added to the weather station essentially converting it to a Davis Wireless Vantage Pro Plus.

In the winter, a heater inside the rain collector melts the snow to record the actual water content.

The anemometer (wind speed & direction sensors) is mounted at the top of an 18 ft. mast mounted on the roof of my two-story garage. That puts it about 40 ft. above ground level (AGL).

The web cam is an RCA CKC020 video camera purchased in 1984 with an RCA VKP926 Video Cassette Recorder. The recorder has long-since passed away, but the camera survived and has begun a new career. The camera is connected to a Hauppauge Impact VCB Model 00166 video capture card. The image is uploaded to the website every 5 minutes (during the day) using ImageSalsa.

Rain GaugeThe camera is mounted in an upstairs window pointing SSE (160° on the compass dial) across Wild Foul Bay. Bayshore Marina is in the upper right corner but is not visible because of the leaves. My web cam view is very limited due to the surrounding trees.

The Weather Station, NOAA Weather Radio, and Web Cam are connected to a stand-alone computer that is protected from power outages by an APC UPS system.

NEW January 2007, added the ability to stream live audio from my Radio Shack Model 12-258 Weather Radio to the Website. The broadcast is from NOAA Flint National Weather Radio KIH29 162.475 MHz. Although my location is at the outer fringe of broadcast reception for the transmitter located in Clio, a roof top antenna makes my reception quite good and very reliable.

NEW December 2009, added the ability to detect, map & track lightning strikes.