5 Things Michigan Transplants Need to Be Ready for This Winter
If this is your first winter in Michigan, you're about to experience something rather unique.
Here are five things that transplants to the state of Michigan need to be ready for as we approach another winter season.
Michigan Drivers May Not Be Any Better at Winter Driving Than Your State
Unlike some areas of the United States, Michigan is relatively flat. There tend to be more straightaways in Michigan than many places. One would think that would make winter travel a little easier - after all, without as many hills and curves, driving shouldn't be that complicated, right? Wrong.
You'd think that Michiganders would be used to the winter weather, and therefore would be hard-wired to handle inclement conditions better. Alas, that's not necessarily the case.
Know this - not every Michigan driver deals with the winter weather well. Likely similar to the state where you moved from, you'll encounter a variety of driver skill levels on Michigan's snow-covered roads. Some are overly cautious; some are overly confident. All can wind up stranded in the ditch. While many lifelong Michiganders will brag about their winter driving prowess, the number of accidents in the ice and snow will tell you all you need to know.
Rock Salt Isn't Necessarily Just White
Rock salt is one of the primary things Michiganders use to melt ice and snow, especially from walkways.
There used to be a time when bagged rock salt came in one color - white. Don't be surprised to find a palate of pellet colors now. Purple, pink and teal clumps of rock salt are just as likely to decorate the sidewalks heading into your favorite Michigan businesses.
Potholes Will Hide and Get Worse
Winter conditions and salt combine to do a real number on Michigan roads every year. As we progress through December and January into February and March, potholes will continue to grow.
You'd think the bigger the pothole, the easier to spot and avoid, right? That's not how it works.
Michigan potholes hide. They're often camouflaged by ice and snow. Sometimes they fill with water and, unless the light is just right, look like they're part of a smooth road.
Our cars find them though. You or someone you know will experience a pothole-induced blowout this winter. Your best bet is to leave more space between yourself and the vehicle in front of you to give yourself a fighting chance to spot potholes before they attack. Remember, puddles are probably potholes - and they might be deep enough to do some real damage.
Out-of-staters tend to think of Michigan in winter as a frozen wasteland. Rude!
The temperature fluctuates in Michigan throughout the winter - sometimes within the same day. It's not always bone-chilling cold. Adopt a personal policy of dressing in layers - perhaps a t-shirt underneath that warm plaid flannel. Pack a parka in case your cardigan can't keep up. If you're too warm, you can peel down to just the right level.
The Beauty of a Fresh Snow
Michigan's pretty in the spring, summer and fall. But just wait until you see her beauty illuminated by a freshly fallen snow! You'll want to take tons of pictures to send back to the folks back home!