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....


Anonymous said...

Mike, hello! Ron from Crawfordsville! I'm sorry that all those morons gave you a hard time about missing the forecast. I enjoy your broadcast and your blog very much. I often turn to you when I need information on a developing storm.

I am an amateur winter storm junkie! My friends often call me and ask me how much snow we are going to get. I am often right 9 times out of 10. I predicted the last snow storm at 6" for Crawfordsville, we actually got 5 1/2". This time I predicted 6" we got 5" inches here in Crawfordsville. Not bad!

The only complaint I have about your blog is this. You always seem to ignore Crawfordsville!! Seems you never put up our storm totals! You did this time, thanks!

Keep this in mind- The low always goes farther north, and the warm air intrusion is always more pronounced than models predict. Thus, freezing rain and dry slots seem to always plague our snow storms these days.

Keep up the good work! And just remember downplay, downplay.

Anonymous said...

Mike I am happy for Chuckie, she was rescued, now safe, however I wish for the puplic to remember Pete, the little prairie dog, that was rescued by Mark Denhardt, the lafayette amimal guy. Pete was our little sub for ground hog day, always delited to put on a show. What a little darling! Sadly Pete passed away last year from old age. He is missed by many, he was a fancy fellow!
Mark has and continues to take in amimals that owners no longer want or can handle. Talk about snow, Mark is out in the weather no matter what, to ensure the safty of animals. He listens to your forcast, thank goodness. For he as a very tough job, non profit as well! Bless all who care.

Anonymous said...

you da man mike

Chelsea said...

Thanks alot Mike...I will now be singing "I've got you babe" for the rest of my night and probably tomorrow also!

*Praying for a repeat of the 2007 Blizzard!*

Love the blog.

Have an Awesome Week.

God Bless.

Anonymous said...

Chelsea, I'm on the same boat as you!, Let's all hope for a blizzard!

Anonymous said...

Hey Mike! Keep up the great work! Could you please educate people a little on your forcaste that in bad fog, one might actually turn their head lights on?! It would really help. I would not like to hit someone, and I sure don't want hit!