Six more weeks, or six more inches of winter?
February 13, 2017
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“Six more weeks of winter,” said Punxsutawney Phil, as he emerged from his nook in Gobbler’s Knob on Feb. 2. Groundhog’s Day is a day where Americans look to a little animal to predict the weather and other countries laugh hysterically.
There is a lesson to be learned in the aftermath of Groundhog’s Day 2017, however.
Across the Northeast Region of the United States, Wednesday, Feb. 8 was a very mild, spring-like day. In Washington DC, temperatures were in upwards of 70, New York, 60, Boston and Wilkes-Barre, 50. Just when it appeared Phil was gravely wrong, Thursday proved quite the contrary. A nearly a 25 degree drop in temperature, frigid violent winds, and 6-10 inches of snow (accounting for altitude change), it appeared the groundhog triumphed again, proving rather irrevocably, that he was indeed “the prognosticator of prognosticators.”
Classes across the northeast were cancelled, from elementary schools to colleges. Things were no different for Wilkes. Some students rejoiced at the prospects of sleeping in, while others weren’t so happy… or informed.
Joshua King, a sophomore business major, thought the snow was rather inconvenient.
“It was cold and the snow was very inconvenient,” he said.
When pressed about the inconvenience, he elaborated, stating, “Classes were cancelled; I was filled with joy… But, Towers’ fire alarm rang out and we were forced to stand out in the cold at 9:30 a.m.”
As many anxiously await the end of Phil’s projected six-week holdout, the arrival of spring, warm days and daises, the seemingly volatile weather is taking its toll on some, more than others.
Freshman political science major, Matthew Finnegan, wasn’t even aware classes had been cancelled.
“It was kind of depressing, because the day before it felt like spring, then all of a sudden you were back to not being able to go outside,” he said.
Finnegan said, however, that he doesn’t believe Phil’s prediction(s).
“I enjoy the cold temperatures, but I’d much rather be able to go outside and play tennis.”
Lack of belief in the groundhog seems to be a widely-felt sentiment. Kayla Wedlock, a freshman nursing student shared the same feelings as Finnegan about a groundhog predicting the weather.
“I think it’s just a cute little fairy tale to keep people interested in the weather,” she said.
Like many, Wedlock was surprised at the drastic change in weather and snow storm.
“I was shocked, usually when meteorologists say there’s going to be a storm, they’re usually wrong,” she said.
The same can and must be said for the “meteorologist” in question, Phil. With temperatures expected to rise to the mid 40’s and 50’s over the course of the next couple of weeks, the question is raised: six more weeks of winter or six more inches of winter, Phil?