It's always about the shadow on February second and this year is no different. But when the prognosticators have different results who can we believe?
The national groundhog Punxsutawney Phil in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania awoke on Sunday and spoke groundhogease to his handlers. Once the handler interpreted what Phil had to say he announced to the northern hemisphere that Phil saw his shadow and that he would be returning to his burrow on Gobbler's Knob. This of course means that winter is NOT over and will continue for at least six more weeks. So the hopes of an early spring are dashed and all hope is lost...right?
Well not necessarily!
Our local prognosticator Wichita Willie, the prairie dog, had a different prognostication. Willie proudly emerged from his burrow and did not see his shadow. The skies were overcast as the first snowfall of 2014 fell to the ground. And when Willie does not see his shadow it means that winter is over early and spring has arrived. However, given the fact that he didn't see his shadow while dodging snowflakes makes it difficult at best to take his prognostication seriously. And the current forecast calls for more snowfall tonight (Monday night, February 3, 2014) and again on Thursday (February 6, 2014).
Therefore what is a Wichitan or a Texoman to believe?
Tradition says to go with the national groundhog instead of our local, less experienced prognosticator Willie. Or maybe we should each pick the one that predicts the outcome we want. If you want winter to be over and spring to be here then go with Willie. But, if you enjoy the cold weather and a few rare snowfalls then go with Punxsutawney Phil and enjoy the forecast ahead.
By the way if you were curious to know the stats on how accurate Phil is, here are the results. According to StormFax Weather Almanac Phil has been correct 80% of the time. And those numbers are based on data that goes all the way back to 1887. He has predicted and "early spring" 16 times in 117 years.
Unfortunately we were unable to get reliable stats for Willie. But if you are in the business of speaking groundhogease then feel free to stop by Kiwanis Park in Wichita Falls and ask him yourself.
KFDX Meteorologist Bryan Rupp.
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