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Groundhog Day

We are starting our second month of 2018 with the groundhog seeing his shadow; there’s going to be six more weeks of winter. While this celebration has been around since 1887 on Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsatawney, PA, this is just one of a long list of fabled means to predict the weather. There are spoons and knives in persimmons, how fuzzy a caterpillar is, cows lying down means rain, and the list goes on. How does the ground hog stack up against the meteorologist predictions?

Farmer’s Almanac has been a mainstay in households for generations. Crops are planted by their calendars. They even tell you the best days to go fishing, wean babies, and to go on a diet. What do they say the weather for the Deep South is going to be like for the next 60 days? The first two weeks are rainy, cold, and snow. The last two weeks are seasonable then mild, with sun and then rain. Expect temperatures to be around 46 degrees and 5” of rain. March is going to be typical: stormy. Temperatures are expected to be about 57 degrees and 8” of rain.

We look to The Weather Channel for national weather news. What do they think our chances are for a normal winter? Their February forecast has temperatures in the mid-forties to the mid-fifties. Most of the days are expected to be overcast with chances of rain higher than average. Most of the days are even out of the freezing range, but just barely. They don’t have a forecast for March, so we’re just going to have to assume that the long range forecast is more of the same as the Farmer’s Almanac.

In Craighead County, we count on our local meteorologist to give us the weather that matters to us. Region 8 Weather forecast only extends to 10 days, but we are looking at highs in the 40’s and lows in the mid-20’s. Mostly sunny with a chance of thunderstorms on Tuesday.

Given the sum of the experts’ opinions, the tradition of the Groundhog Day is a great reason for a party, but I’m not taking weather advice from a rodent.


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