We don’t have an official Groundhog here in Tulsa. So.. at least in my house this year, I’ve volunteered our 20+ pound (he has big bones) house cat to step in.
I’ve actually spent most of the morning waiting for my Jackson’s prediction. I’m not sure he’s gonna play ball though. He hasn’t opened his eyes just yet…
While we’re waiting on Jackson, I’ll catch you up on important breaking Groundhog Day results from around the country and beyond. Yep, on this day, February 2nd Phil isn’t the only furry forecaster around.
- Staten Island, New York: “Staten Island Chuck” did not see his shadow. An early spring is on the way.
- From Canada: Nova Scotia’s “Shubenacadie Sam” & “Ontario’s Wiarton Willie” BOTH did not see their shadows. Hence, an early spring.
- Atlanta, Georgia: “General Beauregard Lee” did not see his shadow. An early spring.
- Saginaw, Michigan: “Woody” did not see his shadow. An early spring.
- Raleigh, North Carolina: “Sir Walter Wally” sees his shadow. Six more weeks of winter.
And probably by now you’ve heard that the granddaddy of them all, Punxsutawney Phil, when pulled out of his burrow this morning… saw his shadow… thus 6 more weeks of winter!
I’m not sure how much sense it makes to put faith in a forecast that comes to us from a rodent all the way to our east in Pennsylvania. However, seeing how Phil is the most famous and the only official weather prognosticating groundhog, I feel the need to give him respect. You have to admit, Phil does have some pretty impressive credentials (www.Groundhog.org):
- Phil’s yearly Groundhog Day predictions are entered into Congressional record.
- In 1995 he was a guest on Oprah!!!
- A major motion picture was made in his honor. Perhaps you are one of the millions who love to watch it over and over and over again:)
- Phil is said to be more than 100 years old. He credits his long life to his wife, Phyllis and a steady diet of Groundhog Punch.
- Phil’s official name is: “Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather Prophet Extraordinaire.” Thank goodness he has a simpler handle on twitter: @GroundhogPhil
Truthfully, I don’t recall a lesson about Groundhog Day or Phil in meteorology school. I can’t remember a single professor bringing him up. In fact, most Meteorologists don’t care for the little guy one bit. He never really bothered me. In fact, I like to shift the blame from me to him. That’s right, when folks start to complain about the weather, the groundhog makes the perfect scapegoat! Whether you buy into the folklore or you think it’s just plain fun, I’ll tell you I hope Phil is right.
Personally, I’d like to see a little (emphasis on LITTLE) more in the way of winter this season. Walk around town and you hear a steady chorus of sniffling and sneezing. Allergy season never really left us. The grass is still green, robins have been spotted and tulips are even popping up. We still have wasps in our backyard! My brand new winter coat is barely broken in, and we have yet to use our shiny new snow shovel purchased earlier this season. Turn on the TV and you see “spring like thunderstorms” and “slight risk” on the 7-day. Step outside and start sweating. As much as I love spring…I’d like to see some winter. We need some winter. Some would argue the economy could use it, and nationally, the snowpack is critical for our water resources.
As I write this Jackson stirs stretching his old bones (yes, not only does he have big bones but they are old ones too!) He then darts by me, and makes his prediction…
You know what that means…
Six more weeks of winter. Atta boy! Good kitty:)
Happy Groundhog or GroundCat Day!