Thursday, February 2, 2012

Groundhog Day 2012

Punxsutawney Phil divined six more weeks of winter today (read more in the CNN news blog post with the title "More winter weather, Punxsutawney Phil predicts" published today).

It is 60.8 ℉, or 16 °C, in central Virginia. The daffodils are in bloom!
Today, Sunday Feb. 19, 2012, it seems Phil was right!
I seem not to be the only one who finds this winter's weather peculiar. In accord with Lisa Foderaro's article with the title "Much to Savor, and Worry About, Amid Mild Winter’s Early Blooms" published online in today's New York Times, the snow melted a day later in my neck of the woods. The daffodils escaped unharmed (added 02/27/2012).

Phil was correct one more time Monday Mar. 5! This time, the snow lasted only the morning.

Daily mean temperatures (tick marks) and ranges (bars) [℉] in Charlottesville, VA, during the six weeks (blue bars) covered by Phil's prediction (source: NOAA). The blue dashed line indicates freezing temperature, that is 32 ℉. The arrows designate the only two snowy days. The photographs above were taken on those days (graph added Mar. 24, 2012).

In Charlottesville, VA, the average temperature was 46.18 ℉, or 7.88 ℃, during the six weeks of winter Phil predicted. Poor Phil!

The groundhog Marmota monax is no resident of Western Europe. However, its cousin the alpine marmot Marmota marmota represents a familiar sight in the Alps. Follow the link to the related post below for more on the origins of this tradition.

  • Last year would turn into the hottest year in the recorded history of the United States. That is, the average temperature in the lower 48 states registered at 55.3 ℉ (see Matt Smith's CNN article with the title "NOAA: 2012 broke U.S. heat records" published online Jan. 8, 2013)(01/09/2013).
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