Predict the Weather on Groundhog Day

or Monkey’s Quick Guide to Weather Prognostication Using a Groundhog

Just follow this simple process.

Hop out of bed in the predawn hours. Make sure you have had a good hearty breakfast (possibly a nice hot porridge and some fruit or toast and jam). Wearing cuddly warm clothing is always a good idea. Then drop by the home of a groundhog, woodchuck or hedgehog before the slightest ray of sun begins to peek over the horizon.

All the respectable woodchucks, hedgehogs and groundhogs I know are not available to make a guest appearance here today. They are hibernating for the winter, so, I am using one of my delicious Groundhog Day cookies to represent the groundhog’s burrow and the attractive groundhog decoration on top to represent the little weather prognosticator. My trusty yellow flashlight will be representing the sun, an my kitchen counter will be representing the groundhog’s natural habitat.

Just as the sun comes up, listen carefully. Amid the waking bird songs you will hear the faint echo sound of the groundhog’s alarm clock going off. After he has brushed his teeth, combed his hair and taken his morning vitamins (but, before he has had his breakfast), the groundhog (woodchuck or hedgehog) will groggily lumber from his burrow. He will move rather slowly and possibly grumble a bit. Most groundhogs are not morning people, so, for your own good, do not attempt to engage him in conversation.

Use the scientific method of observation.  Refer to the notes below if needed.

Scenario #1

If our faithful weatherman finds the sky overcast and somber, he’ll decides that it is not such a bad morning to stop hibernating. He’ll turn on NPR or the BBC to catch up on the news while checking his e-mail before he takes a leisurely walk to his favorite café. While enjoying a delicious light breakfast of tea, toast, fresh fruit salad with creme fraiche, he relaxes with a copy of the New York Times, The Chicago Tribune or possibly a local paper. He’ll pick out a couple gallery openings and shows he wants to catch and make a list of friends to reconnect with now that he’s done hibernating. This surely means that spring is on the way and his social calendar will be quickly filling up.

He might make a batch of cookies to share with his friends today.

Scenario #2

If he emerges from his warm cozy habitat to a blindingly bright day and immediately sees his shadow, he will grab his classic Ray Bans to shield his eyes and find the nearest classic diner. After a good strong cup of decaf coffee, he’ll chow down on eggs, sausage, grits, bacon, biscuits, hash browns, toast and jam and/or maybe a cinnamon bun, and orange juice while skimming a day old copy of USA today. After ambles home, he slumps into a breakfast induced lethargy that culminates in staggering to the bedroom. Flopping on the bed for “just a quick nap” he wakes up a month and a half later fully clothed and confused about where he was the night before. This indicates 6 more weeks of winter.