Punxsutawney Phil popped out of his burrow this morning and spotted his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter.
In Atlanta, though, General Beauregard Lee saw no shadow and forecast an early spring — and predicted that the New England Patriots would be defeated by the Atlanta Falcons in Sunday’s Super Bowl.
In New York, Staten Island Chuck also predicted an early spring after failing to see his shadow at the Staten Island Zoo.
In Alabama, Birmingham Bill hopped on board the early spring bandwagon as well.
In fact, it already feels spring-like in the South, although it was in the mid-20s in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania so it’s no wonder Phil scurried back to his burrow.
By mid-morning, it was already in the upper 50s to mid-60s in places like Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina.
The Washington Post reported: “In parts of the Southeast, green leaves are popping out more than 20 days ahead of schedule.” Flowers are already blooming from Boston to Oklahoma.
Florida has had its own Groundhog Day ceremonies off and on – Fort Myers had one a couple of years ago and there was an effort to start a tradition on the East Coast, in Lake Worth.
But the efforts have never really gained much traction in an area where the weather is spring-like — or even summer-like — in February and most of the year. Temperatures in the high 70s to near 80 this weekend may seem spring-ish, but they are normal for this time of the year.
Image: Punxsutawney Phil, prognosticator of all prognosticators. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)