SO, I've just recently had the fortunate experience to be reminded just how Michigan rains. Now, before you roll your eyes at me, I HAVE EXPERIENCED RAIN (in regards of the the popular joke that Californians haven't). However, I have to agree; after experiencing one of Michigan's thunderstorms (with my college's sirens blaring in the background), it comes to mind just how different "rain" is between the two states:
California Rain: (CR)
"Rain" is any sprinkling of water that seemingly comes from a cloud, not dripping from the nearby apartment's air conditioning or the lawn sprinkler (that keeps leaving dry water-spots on you car's windshield).
Michigan Rain: (MR)
"Rain" is when you have little mini spontaneous ponds/lakes appearing around you, and your umbrella is doing a decent job of keeping water off of you.
"Heavy rain" is when your windshield wiper is being used on its second speed on your car, and the streets are slightly flooding. It's heavily advised to avoid sidewalks next to busy roads (unless you want a wall-of-water slap to the face). Drivers are going at >20 mph, scared of hydroplaning, blurred vision, etc.
"Heavy rain" is when sirens (we had sirens?) at your college go off, warning all to stay inside, walking is physically hard; you might as well take off your glasses, vision is actually worse with them on. Yet, Michiganders are still going at the same speed as if it weren't pouring. To Michiganders, what Californians are afraid of when it rains is what they are afraid of when there's a blizzard. Rain? Meh.
It rains a little, then it lets up. Typically, when it lets up, we can safely say it'll stop in a couple minutes. Umbrellas usually take care of the job, or a raincoat will do. "Aww, the my shoes and the bottom of my pants are wet," is the usual complaint you'll hear.
It rains a little, then A LOT. You'll be walking across campus, figuring you'll be able to get to class in the drizzle, your jacket probably suffering the most from the dampness. That's what you think until (apparently, how else could it be explained?) somebody must've tossed a bomb into the clouds, because SHEETS OF WATER are coming down on your head, prompting you to run (slip, fall, crawl, whatever works) to the nearest building for sanctuary. You finally make it back to your dorm/apartment and you hear things like, "Your underwear is wet? Me too!!" Umbrellas become pretty unfixable flowers in your living room.
(On the quick tangent, you wonder if this was what Noah experienced when it started to "rain".)
People don't know how to handle. Wearing raincoats and umbrellas, I try to get to point A to point B as fast as possible, thinking which route is the driest, regardless of distance. All it matters is I stay dry. A tale walking in Michigan's rain is worth recounting, the harsh journey against the crazy winds, battering rain, and dramatic flashes of lightening and thunder.
People run out of their rooms, screaming and running giddily into the rain, lying in the puddles on the sidewalk, walking barefoot out on the lawn. (Honestly speaking, it seems like it should be switched, with how much Californians need rain, but nope.)
Overall, both rains are something to experience, and even I admit that Michigan's thunderstorms are quite fun to be out in once in a while (with the proper equipment and not driving). I'm grateful for rain in general wherever I go; water is needed (much more apparent when you start to ration). The childish joy of walking through puddles (again, if properly dressed), which you may have read or seen in a book or TV show is something that you want to experience for yourself, with how much fun they are having. Do try it sometime. (Of course, with an umbrella, rain boots and raincoats, not in jeans, flats and a flimsy hoodie.)