February 2: The Groundhog Says More Winter. What Does Science Say?


Happy Groundhog Day! It’s the day we pretend that large marmots are actually fifth-dimensional beings who have specific knowledge of the future. And we make them wear hats.
Punxatawney Phil, Pennsylvania’s “official” rodent of unusual size, saw his shadow (despite the fact that it’s CLOUDY there) — which theoretically means six more weeks of winter. The local squirrels, Sir Walter Wally and Garner’s Snerd, will offer their prognostications a bit later today. Woodchuck-based forecasting efforts have been historically…well, not great.

Regardless of what the critters say, it will certainly feel like winter today and tomorrow. This morning’s rain ushered in a substantially colder air mass — temperatures this afternoon will still be stuck in the 30s and low 40s:
Gusty northwesterly winds will prevail throughout the day as well:
That wind will make it feel even colder:
As the wind dies down tonight, we’ll drop all the way down to the teens and low 20s by early Saturday morning:
Not much of a warmup on Saturday, with highs only in the low 40s:
Despite those chilly temperatures, Saturday will still be the better half of the weekend for any outdoor activities — a good chance of rain heads our way again on Sunday.

Sunday’s forecast is a little tricky in the morning — temperatures will start off near freezing, which means we could see a brief period of light freezing rain as the showers start. That’s the pink showing up on the RPM model’s radar simulation:

That will quickly transition to plain ol’ rain showers, which will hang out in central North Carolina for the rest of the day:

Once the rain moves out Sunday night, we get a couple of calm days to start off the next work week:
Temperatures look to be warm enough to support a chance of thunder with our next chance of rain on Wednesday!

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