Thursday, March 28, 2013

Groundhog Day Was a Bust

Punxsutawney Phil and Bill Deeley
Phil (C) Bill Deeley (R)

Before you even say it, I know that Groundhog Day was almost two months ago.  Why talk about it now?  On Tuesday morning, nearly a week since the official beginning of spring, the wind chill in Birmingham was in the 20s. I thought winter was over, especially since I live in the South.  So what about Groundhog Day?  On February 2nd, Punxsutawney Phil predicted that we would have an early spring.  Butler County (OH) prosecutor Mike Gmoser was so incensed by an impending snowstorm in his county last week that he filed an indictment against Phil for the offense of misrepresentation of early spring.  Bill Deeley, president of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club's Inner Circle, came forward to take the blame for the inaccurate prediction, stating that he incorrectly interpreted Phil's prediction.  The prosecutor later dropped the charges.

You may ask yourself, with modern technology and so many well-educated meteorologists, why are we depending on rodents to predict our weather?  Good question.  I don't want to cheat you out of the opportunity to read about the history for yourself, but I will tell you that the idea of animal behavior as a forecast for early spring goes back to the Middle Ages.  Punxsutawney Phil has been on the scene since 1887, however the Phil that made this year's prediction is not the same Phil who predicted the weather back then.  The notion of a vampire groundhog predicting weather for centuries is kind of cool, though.  Maybe someone can develop that into a screenplay

Where does all this leave our weather in Birmingham?  Over the weekend, we should get back to our average temperatures for this time of year.  Next week, though, the forecast shows upper 50s and lower 60s.  As long as I'm not facing popsicle status trying to walk from my car, I can handle below average temperatures. I'm no meteorologist, but I predict Birmingham will shift directly from winter temperatures to summer temperatures.  I hope the county prosecutor doesn't indict me if I'm wrong.

President of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club's Inner Circle - See more at: http://www.thehollywoodgossip.com/2013/03/punxsutawney-phil-handler-responds-to-indictment-takes-responsib/#sthash.f68gbZoM.dpufThe prosecutor later dropped the charges.


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