If you are really into this "Throwback" winter we are experiencing then there is good news; namely, more is to come. Tony separates the fact from the falacy of Monday's groundhog predictions.
Groundhog Day Prognostications
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It’s official! Six more weeks of winter (or an early spring) are in the cards according to several well-known and “respected” woodchucks.
Take your pick on which it is! Here's the skinny.
At 7:03 GST (Groundhog standard time), the wisest hog of them all, Punxsutawney Phil, emerged from his burrow at the slumbering groundhog lodge in Jefferson County Pa to proclaim another 6 weeks of harsh winter weather are ahead.
Since Phil and his predecessors have been at it for more than 100 years, one has to weigh heavily what Phil told TV cameras this morning. In a shivering dialect of Groundhogese, Phil blurted out this rhyme.
“It’s cold and snowy here at Gobbler’s Knob, so all you humans get set to sob. Winter is here to stay, so don’t expect those warm sun rays”. A harsh statement for sure from a critter that knows something about winter forecasting.
Of course, that’s a forecast for Pennsylvania, not West Virginia. So I thought it best to consult with forecasting varmints of local renown, before making up my own mind.
Turns out both French Creek Freddy (of Upshur County fame) and Concorde Charlie (Concorde U, Athens WV) did not see their shadow and instead came out of winter hibernation proclaiming winter is over and an early spring is upon us.
Now the true legend says when the groundhog sees his shadow, he is scared back into his burrow for another 6 weeks before the spring mating season can begin. If he does not see his shadow, he emerges from his winter slumber and sets out in search of a soul-mate.
Despite the frivolity of it all, grown men clad in tux and top hat insist on waking the groundhog out of his winter sleep for a morning, but only after having a few libations! Only in America.
As for my opinion, this throwback winter still has its stormiest and perhaps coldest period to go thru. So Monday's fresh 2 to 4 inches of wet snow in the mountains (Beckely, Lewisburg, Elkins, Snowshoe) is a preview of coming attractions.
By Friday another southern storm, more potent (wind and cold) and moister (enough rain and wet snows to offer a dual risk of high water then power out producing snow accumulations) than last week's will be taking a track from the Gulf to the Virginia coast.
Snow lovers will salivate over that potential heavy snow track for our region. Early odds favor a foot of snow at your favorite ski resort with
a mixed bag of cold rain, sleet and snow changing to heavy wet snow for most of us in the Friday (mix) to Friday night-Saturday (all snow) period.
As Wanda at Kroger asked me today, "how much this go 'round Tony?"
"As much as this past one, maybe more especially in Ohio", I responded.
With the southern jet stream loaded with moisture the next few weeks and the polar vortex (a piece of the North Pole) setting up shop in Eastern Canada (sorry Vancouver), the possibility of an old fashioned Appalachian blizzard is higher than normal for this last full month of winter.
We shall see!