It’s official: spring is right around the corner.Punxsutawney Phil DID NOT SEE HIS SHADOW in front of thousands of spectators at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, part of the annual Groundhog Day tradition celebrated in the U.S. and Canada. That means, according to the legend, we’re in for an early spring. Phil predicted an early spring for the 21st time since records were kept. (USA Today 2.2.24) The question arises as to how climate change will affect future Groundhog Day predictions.
Having attended the Groundhog festivities on 02.02.02, with my guest and BFF Rusti Wolintz, on this episode we discuss our Bucket List adventure to Punxsutawney, which was quite the time. As the crowd screamed PHIL! PHIL! PHIL! in frigid temperatures, we watched the ceremony unfold as the Groundhog Inner Circle took Phil out of his hollow tree stump to predict the weather. We are now in 2024, and while most people depend on the more advanced methods of their favorite meteorologist, we still wake up on Groundhog Day to the tune of ‘I Got You Babe’ and travel in our minds to the **Tip Top Cafe in the Groundhog Day movie (that’s for you Mr. Murray), to find out if the prediction of the groundhog, through some telepathic connection with humans, will determine if there will be six more weeks of winter, or if spring will come early. If he sees his shadow after coming out of his hollow, there will be six more weeks of winter, and if he does not see his shadow, people can expect spring to be around the corner. In essence we put Phil, Staten Island Chuck, and General Beauregard Lee the premier groundhog prognosticators, in the limelight to predict the weather, which as we all know has been more extreme. So in addition to predicting the shifting of seasons, Phil and company now have another challenge: climate change. We already know that across the U.S., spring is getting warmer and it is starting an average of three days earlier too. Spring is usually upon us when small leaves begin to sprout on trees, but in recent years, spring leaf out arrived in the Southeast over three weeks earlier than the long-term average (1981-2010) in some locations. Austin, TX is 10 days early, Jackson, MS and Charleston, SC are 17 days early, and Wilmington, NC is 22 days early. Warmer springs can cause plants to bloom earlier, impact migrating species and hibernating animals, and increase the amount of seasonal insects. We must address global warming and take action to reduce greenhouse gases. To get more info go to NASA.gov, nationalgeographic.org, NOAA at climate.gov and groundhog.org,
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**Correction, during the episode it was stated that the Groundhog Day movie had the Tik Tok Diner, when it was the Tip Top Cafe.