Groundhog Day And Remembering a Blizzard

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Well tomorrow is Groundhog Day…yes that yearly celebration in PA where a poor but seemingly very well-treated groundhog is pulled from his nice, comfortable home in the wee hours of FEB 2nd and thrust into the air in order to see or not see his shadow. For those of us in the Meteorology field, it’s our favorite day…not. Although I do like the way his forecasts are graded, if he sees his shadow that means there is 6 more weeks of winter and if he doesn’t see his shadow that means spring is around the corner…well we’re about 6 weeks away from Springtime so that is a forecast that can’t miss.

I did get a kick out of this though, this will be his 126th prediction and of the previous 125 or so, he’s predicted a longer winter 100 times and predicted 16 early springs (9 years of records were “lost”). Apparently since 1969 he’s been right 39% of the time. I don’t even know what that means but whatever. So I guess you have a better chance of flipping a coin and guessing that than one of his “predictions” but I digress. Even our government has decided to write a brief report about it and it’s an interesting article about Phil’s “verification”.

OK now that I’ve gotten that off my chest…I’m really not bitter…at least the kids get a kick out of it…let’s focus on something that we haven’t seen in awhile around these parts and that is heavy snow. We got a taste of this before Christmas with those short 4 hours of blizzard conditions, but two years ago today we we’re in the midst of a blizzard to remember around these parts…if I remember correctly it started snowing in the AM, and then towards lunch it started to pour down snow and that kept up for the rest of the day into the middle of the evening when it finally tapered off. I rote about the Groundhog Blizzard last year on one of my blogs. Click and take a look back with maps and totals etc.

I decided that during the noon show to take a look back so feel free and take a look at the video from a couple of years ago. Of course that was the 2nd straight memorable winter around here with 36.9″ of snow

This morning was the coldest we’ve seen yet this winter as temperatures dropped to 2° for KCI. St Joe dropped to 0° and the coldest in MO was in Worth County, near the IA border as temperatures dropped to -7°. Needless to say this AM was the coldest winter morning yet in the region and now as the cold air moves away, one wonders when it will get that cold again…especially since the snowcover to our immediate NW will be vanishing over the next few days. So our stretch of days NOT falling to below 0° continues. Today is the 722nd day in a row that we’ve NOT been below zero and that number will continue to increase. it’s the 8th longest stretch on our recorded weather history.

Our next better chance of moisture will wait another week or so and move towards the area later next week or next weekend. At this point it looks like rain but will be watched and I’ll blog about that more early next week.

Saw a couple of interesting snow-related tweets today.

I know I promised you a research project today, I’ll get to that over the weekend on the blog since it appears that things will be quiet and I’ll need to come up with some new material over the weekend!

Have a great day!

Joe

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