Weather Words: February 1

Still no winter here.. even if Punxsutawney Phil says otherwise tomorrow!

Happy first day of February , everyone!

We did officially tie the record high temperature at McCormick Observatory yesterday. The record is 68° set back in 1974, so now there will be two years in the record books. At the airport (KCHO), the high was 69°, and there were some places east of Charlottesville that did break the 70° mark. What a warm way to end January!

The warmth continues today though we'll be well below our record high for the date. Temperatures will once again reach the upper 60s this afternoon despite ample sunshine. A cold front sitting to our west will keep skies on the cloudier side, and there may be a couple of scattered sprinkles through the afternoon. By no means will today be a wash. The steadier rain showers develop tonight and continue into Thursday morning, though sunshine will return by noon Thursday. Temperatures will be cooler, though a bigger cool down will be had this coming weekend.

Speaking of tomorrow, it's Groundhog Day. If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, there'll be six more weeks of winter; if he doesn't, it means spring is right around the corner. He'll make his prognostication around 7:25am (sunrise in Punxsutawney). I would think a more appropriate question for Phil would be, "Are we ever going to HAVE winter?"

For the record, I know there are many "groundhogs" that make their winter predictions tomorrow, but being a native Pennsylvanian the only one that matters is Punxsutawney Phil. I had the pleasure of covering Groundhog Day in Punxsy for eight years when I worked in Johnstown; I'll share some of the experiences I had tomorrow.

3, 2, 1, fade out.
~Travis Koshko

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