Groundhog Day 2012 by Matt Ferguson
Today is Groundhog Day and the most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil SAW his shadow this morning outside his burrow in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Therefore, more winter is on the way, despite the fact our nation hasn't seen much winter this year!
This morning, it was interesting that the weather conditions at the time were mostly cloudy. I guess there were just enough sunny breaks for the shadow to be seen, but it looked cloudy on the video I saw.
According to legend, if it's a sunny day, he is startled by his shadow, jumping back into this burrow, anticipating six more weeks of winter. When he doesn't see his shadow because of cloudy weather, an early spring can be expected.
Groundhog Day can be traced all the way back to Germans who moved to America. They carried with them the tale of Candlemas Day, which says "For as the sun shines on Candlemas day, so far will the snow swirl in May."
The early settlers decided to change it to Groundhog Day because of the numerous groundhogs in Pennsylvania. In the 1800's, February 2 was designated Groundhog Day because the first part of February is when they would begin seeing groundhogs emerge from their winter burrows.
For more information about Punxsutawney Phil you can visit the following website: www.groundhog.org
Okay, so Phil is forecasting more winter weather, and I must agree. Chances are - eventually before spring arrives, there will be some type of snow event, large or small. Keep in mind February can be a snowy month across the region.
Also, many of you may remember the blizzard that hit in March of 1993 and Lynchburg received 13" of snow. Looking at records, we had nearly 5" of the white stuff in April of 1971. Snow flurries have even occurred into early May as well.
For you snow lovers- don't give up hope on a classic Virginia Snowstorm, as we have plenty of time for it to happen. The overall weather pattern looks to be changing from a very mild one to a colder one, so we'll see what happens in time!