Groundhog Day... Don't Knock It

You are going to hear many folks out there bash the many different groundhog forecasts. It's all about the fun!

First, I need to say a quick word about my lack of posting on Tuesday. I was up to my eyes in a special project. I haven't looked away from the computer since Monday. Now... the special project is 99% complete.

What a storm?!?!? It was a monster that rolled by just to our north. We dodged a bullet. We were on the rainy & windy end of the system. Some light snow fell... but that was all we had to deal with. That... and the BIG swing in temps. Highs dropped around 30 degrees from Tuesday to Wednesday.

Another disturbance will move towards KY on Friday. I think it brings rain in the beginning and then that changes over to snow on Saturday!

Here you can see some data from the NAM & GFS

This line might change by the time Saturday gets here. So light accumulations will be possible around here. It looks like more of a nuisance at this point. I'll keep watching!

Now for the fun part of the forecast... Groundhog Day! By the way... the movie network Encore had the movie, "Groundhog Day" playing over and over and over! It was like TBS and "A Christmas Story" and just like A Chritsmas Story... I watched it at least 3 times from beginning to end!

Here's the skinny on the real star of that movie


Groundhog Day, February 2nd, is a popular tradition in the United States. It is also a legend that traverses centuries, its origins clouded in the mists of time with ethnic cultures and animals awakening on specific dates. Myths such as this tie our present to the distant past when nature did, indeed, influence our lives. It is the day that the Groundhog comes out of his hole after a long winter sleep to look for his shadow.

If he sees it, he regards it as an omen of six more weeks of bad weather and returns to his hole.

If the day is cloudy and, hence, shadowless, he takes it as a sign of spring and stays above ground.

The groundhog tradition stems from similar beliefs associated with Candlemas Day and the days of early Christians in Europe, and for centuries the custom was to have the clergy bless candles and distribute them to the people. Even then, it marked a milestone in the winter and the weather that day was important.

According to an old English song:

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, Winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go Winter, and come not again.

According to an old Scotch couplet:

If Candlemas Day is bright and clear,
There'll be twa (two) winters in the year.

Another variation of the Scottish rhyme:

If Candlemas day be dry and fair,
The half o' winter to come and mair,
If Candlemas day be wet and foul,
The half of winter's gone at Yule.

The Roman legions, during the conquest of the northern country, supposedly brought this tradition to the Teutons, or Germans, who picked it up and concluded that if the sun made an appearance on Candlemas Day, an animal, the hedgehog, would cast a shadow, thus predicting six more weeks of bad weather, which they interpolated as the length of the "Second Winter."

Pennsylvania's earliest settlers were Germans and they found groundhogs to in profusion in many parts of the state. They determined that the groundhog, resembling the European hedgehog, was a most intelligent and sensible animal and therefore decided that if the sun did appear on February 2nd, so wise an animal as the groundhog would see its shadow and hurry back into its underground home for another six weeks of winter.

The Germans recited:

For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day,
So far will the snow swirl until the May.

This passage may be the one most closely represented by the first Punxsutawney Groundhog Day observances because there were references to the length of shadows in early Groundhog Day predictions.

Another February 2nd belief, used by American 19th century farmers, was:

Groundhog Day - Half your hay.

New England farmers knew that we were not close to the end of winter, no matter how cloudy February 2nd was. Indeed, February 2nd is often the heart of winter. If the farmer didn't have half his hay remaining, there may have been lean times for the cows before spring and fresh grass arrived.

The ancient Candlemas legend and similar belief continue to be recognized annually on February 2nd due to the efforts of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.

Phil's Prediction

Due to some crazy restrictions I can't put the video up... so here's the link.

As for WYMT's virtual Groundhog "Neil" named after my boss man...LOL he had something different to say! Winter Sticks Around.... LOL...

C-Ya Bye


Read More Blogs

You must be logged in to post comments.

Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by liz Location: Boyd on Feb 3, 2011 at 01:25 PM
    Well up here Phil said yes early spring others seemed to agree, But the Nutria in Louisiana voted the other way. We get a lot of our late winter from them our early from Lake Michigan. So I vote for human weathermen and their forcasts!
  • by paul Location: breaks va. on Feb 3, 2011 at 12:09 PM
    jim you are the only weather man that keeps up with the weather rain shine snow cold you are the best lol
  • by Debbie Location: Hazard on Feb 3, 2011 at 07:25 AM
    That took a lot of research--thanks for the info!! I sincerely hope the groundhog is wrong and winter is over but since it's only February I guess that's just wishful thinking..oh well, give me 1 big snow and lets get this winter in the books!!
  • by Cindie Location: London, KY on Feb 3, 2011 at 02:53 AM
    Wow! Thanks for all the info; it was great reading. I guess we're in for some very cold temps and snow so, we'll just go along for the ride. Thanks for the update Jim. Missed you.


2851 Winchester Rd. Lexington, Ky 40509 859-299-0411 - switchboard 859-299-2727 - newsroom
Register for Email
RSS Feeds
Copyright © 2002-2015 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability
Gray Television, Inc.