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Groundhog Day 2017
by Stormy on February 02, 2017

There's nothing like predicting winter weather on a cold winter day.

It's Groundhog Day again and once more it's time to use the traditional methods to predict weather. I ventured out into the cold this morning to get a feel for what the next six weeks will have in store for us. Being in the Mountain Time zone my environmental queues come a couple of hours later than for my counterparts on the east coast. Long before the sun comes up, I have the opportunity to see how other marmots are forecasting and when the sun comes up in Colorado, there's already a major disagreement about how long winter will last. All it tells me is that the marmot community is fragmented and not organized. And that forecasts are at best regional.

So how do things look for Colorado? It was overcast and murky and sleeting and flurrying off and on. Needles to say, no shadows. Relying on folk traditions, I will lean towards an early spring. And because this is a La Niña year, I have a little science to support this prediction. La Niña tends to push the Jetstream north and creates heavier precipitation along the northern Pacific and Mountain states, leaving the southwest dryer and warmer. It's not good for agriculture or skiing or whitewater sports or forest fires, but that's how things work. And that's two votes for an early spring in the west.

As is the norm, Punxsutawney Phil and I don't often agree with our predictions. This year Phil called for six more weeks of winter. It looks like he's put on a few extra pounds, so he's probably good to continue hibernating. I'm digging through my closet to get ready for spring activities. Spring is coming!

It sure looks like there's no shadow this morning.
(taken by Stormy on February 02, 2017)

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