What’s your favorite season? No matter how you answer, the Michigan Historical Museum has you covered with its new exhibit, which explores Michigan weather in all seasons. The exhibit takes its title, “Lake Effects,” from a major influence on our weather—the Great Lakes that surround us. Weather systems generally approach Michigan from the west or south, but the lakes add interesting twists.
A Michigan summer.
Everyone who’s ever lived in Michigan, from Paleo-Indians thousands of years ago to school kids today has paid attention to the weather. In addition to information about earlier ways of predicting the weather, the exhibit looks at how Michiganians’ work and play are weather-influenced. Artifacts as varied as early spouts for collecting maple sap, a lightning rod from the Traverse City State Hospital, hunting decoys and a circa 1970 brown-and-orange snowmobile suit build a seasonal mosaic that gives visitors of all ages opportunities to learn, reminisce and tell family stories.
A Michigan winter.
The exhibit also focuses on memorable weather events from Michigan’s past. Survivors of the tragic Great Lakes storm of November 1913 may have passed from the scene, but you might know someone who remembers the heat wave of 1936, one of Lansing’s numerous twentieth century floods or an opening day at Tiger Stadium when the weather was actually springlike!
Younger visitors can offer a weather report or forecast at a magnetic weather map, or dress a magnetic figure for different kinds of weather. A full slate of programming, beginning in December, includes monthly family sessions on second Saturdays, a spring kite festival and an exploration of extreme weather.
The museum also invites you to share photos of your Michigan weather experiences on our Flickr page. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org with the photo title in the subject line. You can include the story in the body of the message. View photos at www.flickr.com/seekingmichigan.