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No Shadows Here
by Stormy on February 02, 2018

Groundhog Day 2018 - no shadows here!

Groundhog Day is upon us once again and at the crack of dawn my alarm clock inspired me to venture outside to see how we'll do this winter. Shadow or no shadow?

Before I get to my prediction, it's important to note that as a western prognosticator I tend to fall in the "shadow" of the east coast forecasters. As always, my nemesis is Punxsutawney Phil, and as it generally turns out, we don't normally see eye to eye. For one, I'm a bit taller than he is.

This morning USA Today headlined their front page with "Groundhog Day 2018: Punxsutawney Phil predicts 6 more weeks of winter". But if you dig into the article, you will notice a startling revelation:

The Pennsylvania groundhog isn't the only weather-predicting rodent in this quirky American tradition, but he is the most famous. And according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, his opinion is the only one that matters.

He's not always right. But he's always popular.

That's right, you heard it from Joel Shannon in the USA Today. Phil is a fraud. Joel goes on to say, "even so, there's some good news: Phil is usually wrong."

A random guess, a flip of a coin, would only yield results that are 50% accurate, but Weather Underground's meteorologist Tim Roche, in a Live Science article, indicates that over the last four decades Phil has been right only 36% of the time. That's right, you'll get better results from flipping a coin than from listening to Phil.

So with that said, on February 2, 2018, the cross-quarter day Imbolc, I ventured out of my burrow to practice the age old marmot forecasting methods. I stood in a clearing and waited for the sun to rise and even though it became light (and my toes got cold in the snow), clouds obscured the sun and there was no shadow. I happily declare that we are on the verge of an early spring!

Groundhog Day 2018 no shadows here!
(taken by Stormy on February 02, 2018)

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