Drum roll, please!
Phil, the famous weather prognosticating groundhog of Punxsutawney, PA, will be closely watched on February 2, as he has been for 120 years. Not the same groundhog, of course, although some say he is: magic punch fed to Phil each summer lengthens his life by seven years.
And who knows? Maybe. Sometimes it seems like meteorologists may have been sipping some sort of punch…although, I must say, they’ve been accurate about the snowstorms this winter.
If Phil sees his shadow when he pokes his head out of the burrow, he'll scurry back inside for six more weeks of winter.
But given the current weather across much of the country, sun and shadows seem unlikely. That would mean an early spring!
Except that, while Punxsutawney Phil has forecast an early spring 14 times in his 114 recorded predictions to date, his predictions have been correct only 39% of the time.
So we might be better off if he does see his shadow.
But don’t tell poor Phil that spring--the vernal equinox--is a fixed date based on when the sun is directly over the equator. This year it will arrive officially on March 20, at 11:21 p.m. So there’s a bright light at the end of winter’s six-week tunnel no matter what Phil does.
Whether the mounds of snow we have now will melt by then is another story. And I’m betting we’ll still have mounds of it left.
But in any case, even for those of us who like snow, doesn’t it feel good to know that spring is only six weeks away?