Groundhog Day Prediction Won’t Matter -- This Year Anyway

groundhogI'm starting to feel bad for Punxsutawney Phil. First the prognosticating presenter of Groundhog Day news is exposed as a fraud. And now the furry little rodent has to face an even harsher truth: this weird winter weather has made him and his shadow completely obsolete.

We might as well cancel the whole shindig down in Pennsylvania and call February 2 what it is: another day of the warmest and driest winter in years. And lest you think I'm being a bit hasty at setting the beloved mammal out to pasture, let's just look at the evidence that no one in America gives two hoots about "six more weeks of winter," shall we? 

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According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, more than 95 percent of the US had below-average snow cover in the first week of 2012. That is the first time that has happened. EVER. Now pair that with temperatures at least 5 degrees Fahrenheit above average in half of the US during the month of December PLUS some 1,500 records set for above average temperatures in the week of January 2 through 8.

And that's just what the people who call themselves experts are saying.

Take it from a real expert -- I'm a New Yorker, folks, an upstate New Yorker at that -- this winter's been a big fat bust. Yesterday I pulled my kid off the bus wearing nothing but a hoodie and a pair of jeans. In January! And I'm the sort of girl who is always cold! My poor plow guy has made a sum total of one trip(s) to my house. And my husband and daughter have engaged in just one game of snow soccer.

Six more weeks of winter, my foot. We haven't had a winter yet!

I should note, I'm not complaining. My bank account would like to thank the weather gods for allowing me to skip my usual December fuel oil delivery. And I did mention, didn't I, that I'm always cold?

But I do feel for that little furball. This groundhog can't possibly make an accurate prediction when his only two choices call for him to ponder six MORE weeks of something we haven't had vs. an early spring. At least he retains his integrity in the years when he gets the forecast wrong. But putting him out there will be an exercise in futility.

So what do you say, think we should just call the whole Groundhog Day thing off for a year? Give the chubby rodent another year to ponder his prognostications?

 

Image via chrisbb@prodigy.net/Flickr

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