Groundhog is nobody’s friend today

— Groundhogs poking their head out of burrows in vineyards in the Lower Yakima Valley yesterday saw their shadow, an omen wivestales suggest means six more weeks of winter.

Across the country in Punxsutawney, Penn., the same thing happened.

As soon the nation’s more famous groundhog, “Punxsutawney Pete” saw his shadow, he instantly became a celebrity out-of- favor with the public.

The shadows here and there are a sure sign that the long, hard 2016-17 winter is going to drag on, according to Punxsutawney aficionados say.

Normally when he pops out of his hole Feb. 2, the end of winter is in sight, but his shadow is not. Folklore holds that if he sees his shadow, the country is in for another six weeks of winter.

On Thursday morning in Sunnyside, nobody wanted to hear the groundhog had seen his shadow and spring was still weeks away.

Car salesmen at C. Speck Motors voiced dismay: Six more weeks of winter?

Bus drivers and crosswalk guards standing in the frigid wind yesterday were not as smiley as normal. It’s going to stay cold, they groused.

In January due to wintry weather, most area districts had canceled school at six times and delayed school days for two hours at least six more days.

Facebook lit up as people started calling the furry little weather prognosticator “a rodent, not a meteorologist.”

One social media meme featured a photograph of a grey wolf with the caption: “The groundhog said six more weeks of winter – so I ate him.”

Sunnysider Jim Martin said he believes the wolf missed a few of the groundhogs hanging around the country.

Bottom line: Don’t put away the snow shovel yet. And replenish your salt and ice melt.

The next wave of winter was expected to move into the region today.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Klickitat, Yakima and Kittitas counties until 4 p.m. Saturday. From 5-9 inches of snow is expected in higher elevations and less than 5 inches in the valleys. A winter weather advisory is in effect for Benton and other Eastern Washington counties.


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