Share This Page

Expert dismisses groundhog's weather prediction as 'folklore'

| Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
REUTERS
Groundhog co-handler Ron Ploucha (R) holds Punxsutawney Phil as the Groundhog Club's Bob Roberts (L) reads the famous groundhog's annual weather prediction on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, on the 127th Groundhog Day, February 2, 2013. Phil did not see his shadow signaling an early end to winter. REUTERS/Jason Cohn (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY ENVIRONMENT ANIMALS)

There was no sign of the spring that Punxsutawney's legendary groundhog forecast when he did not see his shadow on Saturday morning.

Snow is expected through Sunday, and the temperature overnight into Monday is expected to fall to 10 degrees.

“I don't even know what the groundhog did, and it doesn't matter,” said Pat Herald, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Moon. “It's one of those folklore things. But it looks like they have a lot of fun up there, singing and dancing, staying up all night,”

The weather service is predicting between 2 and 4 inches of snow by Sunday evening.

“By next weekend, temperatures could be 10 degrees above normal,” Herald said.

For the rest of winter, the weather service says there is an equal chance of temperature swings either way. And there's a 30 percent chance of its being warmer than normal through May.

Phil's predictions, made in front of thousands of people on Gobbler's Knob, are not always right on. Last year, for example, he told people to prepare for six more weeks of winter.

The Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University later listed that January to June as the warmest seven-month period since systematic records began being kept in 1895.

In 2010, Phil predicted an early spring. There were 48.7 inches of snow in Pittsburgh that February.

Rick Wills is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.