Once upon a time I thought about becoming a meteorologist. I took a 101 class at Cloud County Community College and was pretty good at it after I became confident in my predictions. (You don’t hear many “I think’s” in a professional weatherman’s predictions.) How hard could it be if a groundhog could do it? If your prediction is wrong, blame it on Mother Nature! Who could argue with you?
For many teaching years, no matter the grade, we would chart the weather after Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, Weather Prophet Extraordinary, predicted the next 6 weeks of weather. The Internet says his forecasts have been right 39% of the time.
Ahhhh, the internet and technology, what would we do without it? I would be willing to bet that there are many seasoned farmers out there that could predict the weather better than Phil’s 39%. Many used or still use nature as their predictors. For example, the stronger and larger the beaver’s den, the harsher the winter. If skunks are overly fat, a cold winter is coming. “When squirrels early hoard, winter will pierce us like a sword.” When wild turkeys refuse to come down from trees, snow is imminent. As high as the hornets build their nests, so will the snow be next winter. The wider the wooly caterpillar’s middle brown band is, the milder the winter will be. “Mushrooms galore, much snow in store.” (“The Old Farmers Almanac”) My brother-in-law’s standby, “in 90 days after a fog day – precipitation.”
If by chance Phil sees his shadow on February 2 and quickly returns to his den for 6 more weeks of winter, take those 6 weeks to organize a closet, bake, write to a friend, or maybe……read!
“Weather” he sees his shadow or not, there’s 6 weeks between Groundhog’s Day and the first day of Spring anyway!
Let’s not knock the weather. Nine tenth’s of us couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while.