Oh man, I almost forgot about Punxsutawney Phil.
Which is more than our local birdcage liner had to say, at least online. Their only mention of America's most famous weather forcasting groundhog was some lame weather report story LAST WEDNESDAY. For shame.
For those that haven't see the movie: (and this is straight from the Strib's (Mpls Star-Tribune's) weather guy (who shall remain nameless, but his initials are T I M H A R L O W:
"If cloudy conditions prevail on Groundhog Day, it could signal an early end to winter. (It WILL signal, WILL signal. Come on lame weather guy! Probably posts a disclaimer at the end of his weather report in #4 font, sheesh)
According to weather lore, if a groundhog (I think he means, if THE groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, Grand Ruler of Winter, well, next to Old Man Winter) emerges from its (HIS) burrow on that day and fails to see its (HIS) shadow because the weather is cloudy, winter will soon end.
If the (THE) groundhog sees its (HIS) shadow, it will return into its (ugh, HIS) burrow, and the winter will continue for six more weeks."
We're not sure WHY he goes back into his burrow on a sunny day, or WHY he's never called a Woodchuck (which is the same animal, probably because some people just can't stop themselves from going into the, "Hey, Bobby! How much wood could a woodchuck chuck..." and then they would have to be communally slapped) or why it's SIX weeks longer but it will SOON end. SOON could be six weeks to this weatherguy. Dude, you need to go back to weather school AND read the Farmer's Almanac.
Punxsutawney Phil and his predecessors have seen their shadows 97 times, or about 80 percent of the time, since 1887, according to the Groundhog Club, which conducts the annual event atop Gobbler's Knob, Pennsylvania. Only 15 times has the Punxsutawney groundhog not seen his shadow, including last year, while another nine results weren't recorded, the club said. (hungover -Ed.)
Phil's handlers, John Griffiths and Ben Hughes, removed him from his stump-shaped shelter on a stage in Punxsutawney at 7:27 a.m. local time this morning and proclaimed he saw his shadow. The forecast elicited some boos from the crowd of about 30,000 gathered to await the 122nd annual weather prediction.
Well I can tell you that here in Minneapolis, Phil would have needed a powerful flashlight to see his shadow, as we had an overnight warm up to nearly 30 degrees and the murk was as thick as a New England accent.
So due to warming of the global Nino, or whatever, we are headed for spring, baybay.
Among other weather famous (but not as much) forecasting groundhogs making predictions today, four of them disagreed with Phil as Georgia's General Beauregard Lee; Novia Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam; Jimmy of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin; and New York's Staten Island Chuck all didn't see their shadow, meaning an early spring. Woo Hoo! Sorry Pux.
In a related story, you may want to revisit a previous post and ponder what the heck a baby groundhog in our neighborhood was doing above ground in early January of this year. Possibly protesting for the Kyoto protocol.