Despite Saturday morning's local wintry mix of snow, ice pellets and temps in the twenties, neither Phil nor Ralph saw their shadows. Groundhog forecasters say spring is just around the corner.
Punxsutawney, Phil did not see his shadow in Pennsylvania, nor did his southern cousin Rutherford Ralph residing in the natural area at Murfree Spring around the WGNS' radio tower. For the past several decades, WGNS has followed Ralph's ramblings to get the local prognostication. It covers the opposite season from Dewayne Trail's Folk popular Winter Forecast made in the fall. Instead of wooly worms, a groundhog is the measuring stick.
As folklore has it, when the groundhog comes out of hibernation and exits his burrow on February second, if he sees his shadow, he will be freightened and run back inside the hole, and winter will continue for six more weeks. On the other hand, if there's no shadow, the woodchuck stays out, since spring is just around the corner.
Groundhog's Day 2013 has a double strength of accuracy, with the snaggle-tooth critter not seeing his shadow in the frigid Keystone State where the mercury was eight degrees, or from the 'Boro burrow where it was overcast, snowy and 25. Relax, spring will come early!