Groundhog day: Winter or wonder? | SierraSun.com

Groundhog day: Winter or wonder?

Morgan Kriz
Sun News Service

The chances of Punxsutawney Phil, Mr. Groundhog himself, waking up Friday morning and declaring six more weeks of winter is questionable, said National Weather Service meteorologist Becky Cripe.

As sunny skies and warmer temperatures are on the horizon for the next couple weeks, some wonder whether Phil will be packing sunscreen instead.

Though the legend is not completely proven scientifically, the shadow report indicates that 90 percent of the time Phil sees his shadow. The last time Phil did not see his shadow was between 1997 and 1999, both wet, r Though drought rumors have surfaced, experts said it would take another two or three dry winters for the Truckee to “dry up.”

One benefit to the warm days is lake clarity will be higher because less run-off and erosion makes its way into the lake, UC Davis staff researcher Brant Allen said.

– The legend of Groundhog Day is based on an old Scottish couplet: “If Candlemas Day is bright and clear, there’ll be two winters in the year.”

– Every Feb. 2, people gather at Gobbler’s Knob, a wooded knoll just outside of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

– Residents contend that the groundhog has never been wrong.

– The ceremony in Punxsutawney was held in secret until 1966, and only Phil’s prediction was revealed to the public. Since then, Phil’s fearless forecast has been a national media event.

– The groundhog comes out of his electrically heated burrow, looks for his shadow and utters his prediction to a Groundhog Club representative in “groundhogese.” The representative then translates the prediction for the general public.

– If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, it means six more weeks of winter. If he does not see his shadow, it means spring is just around the corner.

– Approximately 90 percent of the time, Phil sees his shadow.

– Phil started making predictions in 1887 and has become an American institution.

http://www.gojp.com/groundhog/




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