Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Woodchucks (handlers) predict the weather for Groundhog Day

Happy Groundhog Day!  It's time to see what predictions for the coming weeks' weather the animal oracles made this morning.  First, NBC News reports Punxsutawney Phil Says An Early Spring Is On The Way.

Weather forecasting groundhog Punxsutawney Phil does not see his shadow, indicating there won’t be six more weeks of winter.
Nice, but I'd like a second opinion.  Fortunately, the New York Times has one: On Groundhog Day, Staten Island Chuck Predicts an Early Spring.
Charles G. Hogg, Staten Island’s weather-forecasting groundhog, predicted an early spring on Tuesday at the borough’s zoo, making his bold prognostication amid the excitement of a crowd of onlookers — and the notable absence of one public official.
That's good news.  Even better was what didn't happen.
He did not bite anyone this year, as he did in 2009 when he nibbled at Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

Nor were there any drops, like the groundhog’s fall from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s hands — and subsequent death — in 2014 that prompted allegations of a cover-up orchestrated by city officials.

Instead Mr. de Blasio, who would normally lead the ceremony, was in Iowa after volunteering for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. In his place was Kathy Hochul, the lieutenant governor of New York, who embraced her turn in the spotlight.
As one can read, Chuck does not have the best luck with Mayors of New York.  It's a good thing for him that Mayor DeBlasio was at the Iowa Caucuses instead.*

I hope that they're right, but I fear I might be disappointed as I was in 2013, when both predicted an early spring, but we got six more weeks of winter instead.

Both Phil and Chuck are on the east coast.  What about here in Michigan?  The Associated Press via the Detroit Free Press reports From Howell, Woody predicts more winter coming.  The east coast might have an early spring, but we're not likely to.  At least if Woody's right, I won't be able to say "I told you so" as I did in 2013.

Speaking of animal predictions, Woody also predicted that the Broncos would prevail over the Panthers in the Super Bowl.  I have more confidence in animal auguries over that event than their ability to forecast the weather.

*Stay tuned for my comments on the Iowa Caucuses, as I had promised last night.

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