The Groundhog Saw His Shadow, but Will He be Right?
We all know what Groundhog Day is. Every February 2nd we bring our friend Punxsutawney Phil out of his home in hopes that we will have some warm weather on the horizon, but he is not the only one we ask. There are Groundhog Day celebrations all around the country, so what do the other guys say?
- Chuckles from Manchester, Connecticut - Early Spring
- Shubenacadie Sam from Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia - Early Spring
- Buckeye Chuck from Columbus, Ohio - Six more weeks of Winter
- Stormy Marmot from Aurora, Colorado - Early Spring
These guys are great and all, but they're all pretty far away. Plus two out of five of those cities are really hard to spell (thank goodness for copy and paste). Can we trust a forecast from a rodent east of the Rockies? Maybe not. Don't worry, though, the Oregon Zoo in Portland is here to save the day with a hedgehog named Velda.
The Oregonian reported this morning the following: "Velda the hedgehog calls for an early spring; local crocuses are put on alert."
The Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, agrees. I went through all the long-range forecasts that they issue, and as this map shows, we're looking at above average temperatures (the red), along with below average rainfall, which is not shown on this map, through April.
Sweet. An early spring. I hate the cold, so usually I'm all for that, but not this year. Not after last year's drought. This year is different, though. While the Department of Ecology reports that snowfall is above average throughout most of Washington, an early snowmelt won't help things as much as we need.
AgWeatherNet, a team of weather and agriculture experts working for WSU in Prosser said this in their latest weekly report - "As we know, excess runoff now could mean low water supplies and snow drought by the end of the growing season."
Now I don't want to sound any alarms or make any predictions about water flow this spring and summer, I just thought it was worth noting. At any rate, you won't find me complaining a whole lot about warmer weather. Keep tabs on the weather by following my weather page on Facebook!
What is your forecast for the spring? Did you see your shadow? Tell us what you think!