Saturday, February 2, 2008
Groundhogs Do Not Agree on Arrival of Spring
Chuckie Wheezer Ready for her big day!
While Pennsylvania has Punxsutawney Phil, locally we count on Chuckie Wheezer.
The groundhog lives at the Wildcat Wildlife Center in Carroll County. Assistant Director Denise Hays says that the cute critter has a special name because of her interesting characteristics. Chuckie Wheezer is a ground hog that was brought to us, she was born in the summer of 2006 so this is her second Groundhog Day. She got her name, Chuckie-Wheezer, because the volunteers were split on a name they liked. Some of the volunteers liked Chuckles, because she made everyone laugh, and then some of the volunteers liked Wheezer because she actually has some respiratory issues, and she wheezes especially when she gets playing and running around and stuff like that. So they put it together and came up with Chuckie Wheezer.
Last year, News Channel 18's official Groundhog, Chuckie Wheezer, saw her shadow.She forecasted 6 more weeks of winter. The Blizzard of 2007 arrived within two weeks of her forecast and daily temperatures remained below average through late February. Her forecast was right on target until March when it turned warmer than normal with 70s to near 80 by the second week. So Chuckie's forecast of six more weeks was pretty good although she was off by about two weeks last year.
Did Chuckie see her shadow this year? NO!! Our TV-18 videographer Blake Naftel decided not to turn his camera lights on this morning and with cloudy skies in the area, Chuckie did not see her shadow. So I applaud Blake for letting nature take its natural course which does not happen with Phil in Pennsylvania. I am glad she made it out of her home after all the snow on Friday, but she did!
This means winter has been canceled until next year with an early Spring on the way. Like last year I think Chuckie will only be partly correct. I do see some warm weather between now and March 20th or the start of Spring, but I also see plenty of winter weather including snowstorms and ice storms. I will have more on this here on the blog next week. I would not pack away the winter coats and snow blowers just yet.
Other ground hog forecasts today:
Punxsutawney Phil (Saw his shadow which means 6 more weeks of winter)
Beauregard Lee-Southern ground hog- Did not see shadow (early Spring on the way)
Sun Prairie Jimmy (Wisconsin) Early Spring
Pee Wee (Vermont) Six more weeks of winter
Wiarton Willie (Canada) Early Spring
Shubenacadie Sam (Nova Scotia) Early Spring
Staten Island Chuck (New York) Early Spring
Woody (Michigan) Early Spring
So there you have it...I will add a few more rodent forecasts as they come in but the majority of them say to get ready for an early Spring. Only time will tell and I have to warn them that forecasting is a humbling business. They may have to eat a little humble pie like I did this past week. But the challenge is what makes weather forecasting so much fun! I agree with Phil and Pee Wee on this year's forecast and even though we are outnumbered we will keep the faith. LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW!! Now off to go celebrate Valentine's Day with my wife. I can't get "I've got you Babe" out of my head...BABE, I GOT YOU BABE, I GOT YOU BABE....