GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Groundhog Day arrives this Wednesday. Thousands of people will flock to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to hear the long-term predictions of Phil the groundhog. Punxsutawney has a population of around 5,770 and is about the size of Zeeland or Dowagiac.

In 2020, crowd estimates hit 40,000 when Phil emerged from his burrow (with a little help) to give his prognosis. Last year the event was held online due to COVID-19.

Legend has it that if Phil sees his shadow on the morning of February 2, there will still be six weeks of winter.

There is a little dilemma this year. Looking at the long term weather maps, it looks like we are going to see a lot of wintry weather in the Great Lakes and the Northeast for at least the first half of February and likely beyond. Phil should see his shadow and predict another six weeks of winter. However, it looks like it will be cloudy Wednesday morning in Punxsutawney – no shade.

So… what can a poor groundhog do? If he says (which is obvious) that there’s no sun to cast a shadow and winter is almost over, he’ll look stupid for making a bad prediction. On the other hand, he would look equally foolish to pretend he could see a shadow that wasn’t there (the Emperor’s new clothes).

I have an idea for Phil…there will be a lot of TV cameras on Gobbler’s Knob on Wednesday morning. TV cameras often have nice bright lights. Turn on Phil’s lights and make a shadow! Then he can see his shadow, run to his burrow, and get another six weeks of sleep, while those of us above ground can face the cold and the snow. What do you think ?

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