2018-02-07 / Front Page

Groundhogs Have Mixed Prognostications

by Terry Toole

Groundhogs guess differently. Groundhogs guess differently. Just in case you might have missed the findings of a rodent, it was official, Punxsutawney Phil, the world-famous groundhog, emerged from his burrow in western Pennsylvania and saw his shadow Friday, February 2, 2018, Groundhog Day, predicting another six weeks of winter. Now Groundhog Day is not an official holiday because the government offices do not close with pay.

Now we don't pay too much attention to a rat-like rodent in Pennsylvania, especially one from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, but he is the most famous, and more celebration is done with him.

Now although Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and says it's going to be cold for six more weeks, other parts are disagreeing. Eight groundhogs in other areas are predicting an early spring. OK, there seems to be some meteorological discrepancy about how accurate a groundhog’s shadow might be. AccuWeather put it at around 80 percent while StormFax set it around 39 percent.

There were other groundhogs who, contrary to Phil’s prognostication, predicted an early spring since they didn't see their shadow were as follows:

1. Grover the Groundhog of Pine Grove, Pa.

2. Octorara Orphie of Lancaster, Pa.

3. Sir Walter Wally of Raleigh, N.C.

4. Dunkirk Dave of Dunkirk, N.Y.

5. Pierre C. Shadeaux of New Iberia, La.

6. Chuckles IX the state groundhog of Connecticut

7. Staten Island Chuck of Staten Island, N.Y.

8. Unadilla Bill of Unadilla, Neb.

Getting a little closer to home, General Beauregard Lee, the official groundhog from Georgia, moved from Gwinnett down south to Dauset Trails Nature Center in Jackson this year - his first time away from the hustle and bustle in Atlanta. He agreed with his Yankee counterpart and saw his shadow and predicted six more cold weeks before spring weather.

Well, most weather reports are about as accurate as political polls, so as for me and Colquitt, we will go along with those who chose an early spring. Get out your sunscreen and clean up the boat.

The real secret is that our rat-like meteorologists’ forecasts probably don’t matter. Punxutawney Phil, for example, has been wrong nearly 60 percent of the time, according to Stormfax Almanac.

So your guess is better than that. The reason it doesn't really matter is the weather is something we humans can't do anything about.

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