Closing Thought–02Feb22

Oh goody….six more weeks of winter…..

If you were hoping for an early spring, better climb back into bed. Early Wednesday, Punxsutawney Phil made his annual Groundhog Day prediction on what the weather is looking like for the near future, and it appears we have six more weeks of winter ahead of us, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Locals gathered at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., to hear Phil’s prognostication, an event organized by the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle. In Phil’s 136th forecast, the groundhog saw his shadow, just like in 2021, which means spring is not afoot.

That doesn’t mean Phil’s look into the future is set in stone. USA Today notes that he’s only been correct about 40% of the time over the past decade. Last year, he was half right: He saw his shadow, guaranteeing 42 more days of wintry misery, but while February’s temps were indeed below average across the US mainland, March’s were above average. “There is no predictive skill for the groundhog during the most recent years of the analysis,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration sniffed in a report last year.

There is also a ground hog predictor in New Jersey…..well this new Milltown Mel will not be making a prediction this year….he’s dead.

It’s Groundhog Day, but Milltown, NJ, isn’t celebrating this year. “Milltown Mel,” the town’s weather-prognosticating groundhog, died within days of the holiday. “We Wranglers are sad to report that Milltown Mel recently crossed over the rainbow bridge,” the groundhog’s official Facebook page announced Tuesday. “Considering the average lifespan of a Groundhog is about 3 years, that is not such a shock, but Mel left us at a tough time of year, when most of his fellow groundhogs are hibernating…so no babies will be available to replace him until this Spring. We tried everywhere to get a stand-in, but to no avail!” Hence Wednesday’s decade-old event is canceled, NBC News reports.

The New Jersey ceremony was inspired by the famous Gobbler’s Knob celebration in Punxsutawney, Pa., which started in 1887 and is the oldest Groundhog Day tradition in the US. That one, starring the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, is still happening today (see how to watch it here); according to tradition, if he emerges from his hole and sees his shadow, we’re getting six more weeks of winter weather; if he doesn’t see his shadow, an early spring is predicted. Other nearby weather-predicting groundhogs include Dunkirk Dave and Staten Island Chuck in New York, and Buckeye Chuck in Ohio, NPR reports.

There you go…..your crappy news for a wintery Tuesday.

Now aren’t you glad you stopped by?

“lego ergo scribo”

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