For those of us who actually follow this each year, it is our duty to report that this year's Groundhog Day produced mixed messages:
Punxsutawney Phil did not "see" his shadow Saturday morning in western Pennsylvania.
Likewise, Staten Island Chuck. Both "forecast" an early spring. Perfect timing, since much of Long Island is waking up to a shallow covering of snow Sunday morning.
Just for the sake of a reality check, Patch consulted the National Weather Service for a long-range forecast.
One of the federal agency's 30-day maps indicates that there should be above-normal precipitation in the Great Lakes and below-normal precipitation in the deep South. The Atlantic Seaboard has an "equal chance" of above- or below- normal precipitation over that period, the NWS reports.
Meaning: Your guess - and theirs - is as good as the various groundhogs.'
Either way, Super Bowl Sunday on Long Island is expected to be cold, with high temperatures around the freezing point and a good chance of snow today into Sunday night. The forecast for New Orleans this afternoon is cloudy and mild in the mid-60s. That's not really important because the game between the 49ers and the Ravens is being played inside the Superdome.
The first day of spring arrives on the calendar on March 20; the vernal equinox is at at 7:02 a.m. that day. But pitchers and catchers report in just over a week; Both the Yankees and the Mets open at home on April 1.
And then we'll know for certain that spring has arrived.