Weather Words: February 2

Punxsutawney Phil makes his prediction, and I reminisce about my experiences at Groundhog Day.

And there ya go. Six more weeks of winter, according to Punxsutawney Phil. Surprised?

The last of the rain is moving out the area right now, and we should be into the sunshine this afternoon. Temperatures will still be relatively mild with highs near 60 this afternoon; cooler conditions will be had on Friday and this coming weekend. Like more rain? You'll get some Saturday evening into Sunday morning.

I always feel a bit nostalgic on Groundhog Day. Before Charlottesville, I was Chief at a Fox & ABC duopoly in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and Punxsutawney was in my viewing area. I got to go to Gobbler's Knob every year to cover the event, and I've got many good memories of those days. If you've never been to Gobbler's Knob, it's NOTHING like what's seen in the movie "Groundhog Day". Gobbler's Knob sits on top of a mountain outside of town, almost in the middle of nowhere, very isolated. They open the gates to the Knob in the middle of the night, and it's basically a party until shortly before 7:30 when they pull Phil from his burrow for his forecast. They have entertainers, guests, musicians, and other "energy-promoting" people to keep everyone happy through the night. There's always a big fireworks show sometime around 6:45am, which is what I always remember most. It's enough to rival any I've seen on the Fourth of July. I have to admit that it always seems to end anti-climatically; in most of the years when Phil predicts six more weeks of winter, everyone grumbles, then almost immediately after trudges back to the shuttle buses to take them back into town. It's almost like it ends so quickly after all of the hoopla and excitement from the hours before. If that's the only "downer" part, though, then it's a small annoyance compared to the rest of the festivities. I highly suggest that you take a trip sometime in your life. It's a really good time.

3, 2, 1, fade out,
Travis Koshko

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