WellesleyWeston Magazine


Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Page 161 of 195

The Drumlin Farm team did heed Michaels' advice and started to celebrate Groundhog Day. In 2008, the first year of the festival, there were 25 people in attendance to witness the ground- hog's prediction. Last year, there were 2,000. As a thank you, the staff at Drumlin Farm asked Michaels to name the groundhog. "I named her Ms. G because she was the first female forecaster of her kind," states Michaels. This is probably, in part, due to Michaels' own history as one of the first female meteorol- ogists and broadcasters. "I have always been obsessed with the weather. My first childhood memory was of a tornado. I was in kindergarten and we were living in suburban Maryland at the time. My mother, being a tornado-experienced Midwesterner, had noticed that the sky had turned pea-green, the telltale sign of a tornado. She ordered me out of the bath. As I looked out the window, I remember wondering why the Atlantic Ocean was going by my living room windows." The tornado turned out to be one of the strongest tornadoes to hit Maryland. "The wind sucked up my big wheel and I never saw it again," laughs Michaels, who in later years would become a storm chaser for news stations such as The Weather Channel, for whom she would fly into tornadoes and report on them. However, while Michaels loved math and science, her original plan was to go to Cornell's Veterinary School. "I hadn't seen women in that [meteoro- logical] capacity, so I didn't think of it as a possibility." But the summer before she left for college, she found herself reconsidering veterinary school. "As a horseback rider, I found that I didn't enjoy small animal vet work much. Then I watched one of my friend's horses die and I really started to reconsider." The epiphany to become a meteorologist happened later that same summer. "I was shushing my friends so I could count the seconds between lighting and thun- der, when I had this real eureka moment that this is what I wanted to do. When I entered school that fall, I changed my major." After college, she was elated to find a job in New England — reporting the weather at WMUR, Manchester's Channel 9 in New Hampshire. "New England is a meteorological mecca. The Blue Hills Observatory is located in Massachusetts; it is the oldest continuously operating weather observatory in the US. Furthermore, just look at the last few months of weather here! Most meteorologists aim to work in New England." At the young age of 22, her career really took off. "I was a broadcaster, meteorologist, 160 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 5 books "I have always been obsessed with the weather"

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