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December 03, 2016
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Groundhog weather

The river ice is very thin at the Lackawaxen River access ramp, but it is thick enough for a flock of mallards. Mallards and other waterfowl are frequently seen on the river during winter where there is open water that allows waterfowl to feed.
TRR photos by Scott Rando

February 20, 2013

If you believe in groundhog meteorology, then according to the prediction of “Punxsutawney Phil” that occurred not too far back, we should have an early spring on the way. Barely a week after Phil’s prediction, a winter storm sideswiped us and went on to dump more than three feet of snow over parts of New England. Groundhog Phil may have lost a few fans due to the storm named “Nemo.”

Groundhog or no groundhog, nature does not have a big switch to turn on the spring season; instead, we will get a lot of peaks and valleys with daily temperatures, but gradually warming when a longer period trend line is looked at. The days are getting longer and the sun is getting higher, but there are vast amounts of earth, air and water in the environment to warm up after the short days of winter.

There are already signs of impending spring evident in the region. Eagles, one of the earliest birds to breed in our area, are only a week or two from laying eggs in some area nests. And to our south in places like southern PA or the lower Hudson region of NY, eagles have been incubating for several weeks.

Whether the groundhog is right or wrong this year, winter is on its way out; it is just the matter of those six extra weeks that “Punxsutawney Phil” focuses on each year. With that in mind, enjoy the last part of winter and look forward to the coming mild days of spring.