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February 2: the day every meteorologist sits back in their chair, laces their fingers behind their head, and lets large rodents handle their gig for a day.
This year’s edition of the Super Bowl of groundhog shadows offered its share of predictions, and sadly, tragedy.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s start by checking in on the GOAT. That’s right, Punxsutawney Phil has been in the game since 1887 (not the same Phil… obviously). Every year he gets dragged out of his stump by a bunch of dudes who look like they belong in a Dickens novel.
This year, Phil saw his shadow. That means six more weeks of winter. which if you think about it, takes us to mid-March… that’s when winter always ends.
While there was jubilation in Pennsylvania, there was tragedy north of the border. On Thursday night in Val-d’Espoir, Quebec, officials discovered their iconic mammalian meteorologist, Fred la marmotte. dead.
However, the show must go on. With Fred la marmotte’s death was apparently on too short notice to round up a replacement Fred, they used a kid from the crowd who was wearing a groundhog hat.
Less than ideal, but technically, that works. However, they could’ve used the recently deceased Fred la marmotte to make their prediction.
They’ve been doing something similar for years in Myerstown, Pennsylvania. There they put a stuffed groundhog named Uni in a small boat and send it down a local creek.
Weird? Yes, but is it any weirder than Groundhog Day in general? No.
Groundhog Day Isn’t Just For Grondhogs Anymore
Groundhogs practically own February 2, but around the country, there are other animals making weather predictions.
Perhaps a more politically correct name would be “Animald Predict The Weather Day.”
Take Quentin the Quahog for instance. That climatological clairvoyant almost-clam has been making is the bivalve bellwether on Nantucket.
This morning, he squirted to the right. That means an early Spring, a prediction at odds with Punxsutawney Phil’s.
Down in New Orleans, we’ve got an aardvark named Leia is making the calls. In line with Phil, the aardvark is calling for six more weeks of winter.
Seems to me mollusks and mammals are at odds when it comes to these matters.
Then in Texas, they trot out Bee Cave Bob, an armadillo. In a stunner, the armadillo split from its mammalian brethren and called for an early spring.
However, you celebrate (or completely ignore) Groundhog Day. I hope it was a good one. Later this evening, make sure you kick back and watch one of your favorite Groundhog day movies.
I mean, there are so many to choose from. The Bill Murray classic Groundhog Day…
…alright, maybe there’s only one.
Regardless, here’s to all the brave animals making predictions today, and RIP to the late, great legend o the game Fred la marmotte.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle