WEST MICHIGAN — As we wrap up yet another snowfall across Michigan (3″ to 6″ for most of us), all attention will turn to two big events on Sunday. Super Bowl is the obvious one, but don’t forget about Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania. He’ll be checking (as he does every year) bright and early in the morning to see if he can see his shadow.
Traditionally (by Phil’s standard) seeing his shadow after emerging from his hiding place means another six weeks of winter. Not seeing his shadow means we’ll see an early Spring. It just so happens this year Phil’s prediction coincides with one of the biggest sporting events of the entire year…Superbowl Sunday. I can’t help but think some of Phil’s attention and thunder will probably be robbed because of it.
Groundhog Day has its origins in an ancient celebration of a point mid-way between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. According to the stats since 1887, Phil has seen his shadow 100 times, no shadow 17 times, and there just plain is no records for nine of those years. Take a look at the chart below complied by the National Weather Service for the past 25 years. Phil’s predictions don’t always coincide with the weather we actually experience. Of course, with the weather the nation has experienced the last couple months, he’d be good to see his shadow this year. Grand Rapids has already surpassed its seasonal snowfall totals of around 75 inches tallying more than 80 inches of snow thus far…and we still have three months to go! You can always get the complete forecast at www.fox17online.com/weather. For those of you just looking forward to watching the Super Bowl, coverage begins right here on FOX 17 at 2:00 PM. Don’t forget to catch FOX 17 News at Ten after the game.