Is Phil’s forecast of extra winter a very good factor?

Feb. 5—We normally use this house on Sundays to spotlight good issues occurring in our space and around the globe.

However let’s do one thing totally different immediately. Let’s talk about information that we suspect will result in some arguments about how “good” it truly is: Punxsutawney Phil noticed his shadow. In accordance with folklore, if the famed Pennsylvania groundhog sees his shadow, there can be six extra weeks of winter.

So let’s debate: Is six extra weeks of winter a very good factor?

We are saying sure.

Winter is a important a part of the yearly life cycle on this a part of the world, and it is truly a essential a part of nature. An early spring dangers a late freeze, damaging vegetation that had been tricked into blooming and leaving animals with out an essential supply of meals.

Let us take a look at only one a part of winter: snow. Snow cowl helps regulate the temperature of Earth’s floor, and as soon as that snow melts, the water helps fill rivers and reservoirs in lots of areas of the world, particularly the western United States, in accordance with the Nationwide Snow and Ice Knowledge Heart on the College of Colorado-Boulder.

Snow additionally acts like an insulating blanket, defending soil and the organisms inside it from adjustments within the air temperature above the floor.

On a extra superficial stage, among the finest issues about residing within the Ozarks is that we get 4 totally different seasons, together with a clearly outlined winter. If we lived with year-round spring and summer season, we would discover ourselves lacking the snow, the nice and cozy sweaters and scarves, the comfortable hearth.

After all, we’re saying this because the Joplin space is coming off every week through which icy roads closed colleges and companies for a number of days and made for difficult driving. Hmm. Possibly a barely early spring would not be so dangerous …

Should you assume six extra weeks of winter is not a very good factor, this complete dialogue could also be moot as a result of the percentages could be in your favor. The Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in contrast Punxsutawney Phil’s forecast to the nationwide climate the previous 10 years and located “on common, Phil has gotten it proper 40% of the time.”

Extra winter or early spring?

We’ll simply have to remain tuned.

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