Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Punxsutawney Phil says 'Screw That'

Philadelphia's resident rodent, Punxsy Phil the groundhog refused to come out of his snow covered tree stump at Gobbler's Knob this morning, creating Groundhog Day confusion about the next six weeks of weather.

I can't think of any jokes for Gobbler's Knob
Archive image of a snowless Gobbler's Knob
According to a long standing tradition, if Phil sees his shadow and returns to his burrow, six more weeks of winter will follow. Conversely, if Phil doesn't see his shadow then Spring will be coming early. With the exception of wartime years, you have to go back to 1899 to see (or not) the previous no-show.

Philadelphia and the rest of the East coast has been severely pounded by extreme winter weather, leading to snowfall totals in excess of 2 feet. Very few people actually made it to Gobbler's Knob to witness the ceremony. One of those who braved the weather was Brookville resident, Marmota Monax who told us that she has seen the last 15 predictions and feels cheated by Phil's absence, “I drove down here yesterday, knowing that the weather would be a little rough overnight, but you don't expect a celebrity to cry off when things get a little tough. Phil owes us.”

Phil at 5
The 'Phil at 5' forecast
Phil's representative, Chuck Wood issued the following statement, “In this year of 2011, the great rodential prognosticator has declined to make an appearance. Let the records show that we shall not be able to determine how long the grip of winter will last.”

Historically, Phil and his ancestors have made 114 predictions with only 14 of them calling for an early spring. The groundhogs have a rather disappointing record of being correct only 39% of the time. Incidentally, The Weather Channel predict that winter will be here for at least 6 more weeks, but they don't use groundhogs, they prefer the tried and tested scientific method of psychic octopus.


Janene Murphy said...

'Celebrity cry off'? Love it! We got pounded in Iowa, too. If I were a groundhog, I'd stay nestled in my little hole. Screw the media!

Anonymous said...

I want a psychic octopus. Does he do tricks (other than the mind-reading stuff)?

Jeremy from We Took The Bait said...

Punxsutawney is closer to Pittsburgh than Philly, I think.

I drove up there for the Groundhog Day festivities a couple of times. From the Philly area, it's about a four hour drive.

It's actually really close to State College, PA. Up in that Erie area.

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