Time continues to march on. Here we are in February, and another Groundhog Day has come.
The rules are simple.
the groundhog called Punxsutawney Phil (he or she lives in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania) sees its shadow, we have six more weeks of winter. If the
groundhog doesn't see its shadow, we get an early spring. Here's a little history of that tradition.
The groundhog usually sees his shadow. Due to the pandemic, the party surrounding Phil's appearance in 2021 will all be virtual (starting at 6:30 am EST). But it's never too late to plan your visit for 2022.
It's sad in a way - normally thousands of people are there before dawn, waiting for the big moment. Now it's just a handful of people.
In 2015, one of our harshest Northeast winters in many years, the ground hog saw its shadow, despite the fact that it was overcast, and a rain/snow mix was moving in. Somehow, that ground hog almost always sees its shadow. In 2013, it didn't see its shadow and we still got six more weeks of winter.
The groundhog almost got the death penalty for that one.
In 2016, it was unseasonably warm for us. This year? It got up to 42F (5.5 Celsius) at our house yesterday. This post from 2014 shows a more typical February day.
Then there was 2019 and the polar vortex. We in upstate New York didn't get the brunt of it, but still. The morning before we set a new record of -10 (-23 C) with gusting winds.
2020, as we prepared to enter a pandemic period, the groundhog did not see its shadow. But the weather did not listen, and we had a miserable spring, in the midst of our lockdown. We even got snow in May, where I live in New York State.
So, what about 2021? Actually, Punxsutawney Phil isn't the only groundhog in the United States that predicts the weather. Buffalo, New York has one too, and it has already - er, spoken.
Meanwhile, we are in the middle of a snowstorm.